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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  May 17, 2013 12:00pm-5:01pm EDT

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few of those reported abuses and ask for your opinion on them. in the letter from the office of xm organizations specialists in el monte california specifically the pacific coast division, i would note this is not in the cincinnati division to the christian voice is for life of the county in sugar land texas dated march 31st, 2011 that i have with me here today they were asked specifically and again this is a pro-life group come in your educational program, do you do education on both sides of the issues in your programs? your knowledge of the 501 seat reapplication is that an appropriate question to ask? >> i'm going to be honest and i'm not going to be able to speak to a specific development letter in a specific case. i don't know that i can do that under 61 and three. >> let me ask about another letter that was received, this one was in iowa.
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the question asked from the coalition please detail the content of the members of the organization's prayers. would that be inappropriate question to an applicant? >> the content of one's prayers. >> it pains me to say i can't speak to that one either. >> you don't know if i would be appropriate to ask? >> speaking outside of this case which i don't know anything about, it would surprise me that that question was asked. >> finally, during another applicant's conversation or back and forth, they were asked specifically please detail certain signs that may or may not be held up side of the planned parenthood facility, end of quote. would that be inappropriate follow-up to an applicant application? >> again i don't know the context would be, but that does not sound like the usual
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question. >> yoakley mr. george and the inspector general's office can enlighten us. during your investigations are you aware of the three letters submitted by senator baucus, schumer and durbin written, specifically asking them to give extra scrutiny to the 501c for applications? >> ibm aware of it but i don't know the details, sir speed in the investigation so far in questioning the employee to the irs did you ask them specifically whether or not these letters from the united states senators ought to influence or impact their decisions around these cases? >> i do not believe that was part of the inquiry. >> will you ask those questions in the future? >> as appropriate we will do so if appropriate. >> thank you.
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>> mr. chairman i am particularly troubled by some in this committee that seem to want to rationalize or justify the inappropriate behavior by the irs in these cases. but the disagreement with the citizens united ruling of the supreme court - we all know that our nation is a nation of law, and we either abide by those or not to our peril. whether we agree with the citizens united ruling or not should not be a justification for this agency which is charged with upholding the rule will fall equitably for all people with all groups regardless of party affiliation or motive. specifically mr. miller i was troubled by your comment that you found this group of the inspector general's office calls at targeting to the inappropriate but not illegal to get i'm wondering if you can give me examples of other
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targeting that you are aware of that would be inappropriate but not illegal. sestak probably the congressman i should tell you that i don't know. it's my belief that what happened here wasn't illegal but i suppose that there are some factors that might come out that would indicate otherwise. but that's not my area. i don't know but it was inappropriate there is no question of that. we have used listings elsewhere of credit counseling organizations would be one of those that were used to pull the cases together to work in a consistent and fair manner. >> time is expired. ms. chin ginza's recognized. >> thank you mr. chairman. we have heard a lot of outrage, a lot of tinkering and disappointment. but i have to tell you after sitting here for a couple of hours, i am sad and i am sick to my stomach that americans can be
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targeted by a government agency based on their political belief. mr. miller, in response to the congressman, you mentioned that you have had a discussion with treasury regarding the report. i was wondering if you could give more detail on that conversation. >> i don't know the date but it would have been very recently after the report was done. and i think we can speak to some parts of the treasury as well. it might have been in the same timeframe. >> so, what that has been the first time that you had a discussion with someone from the treasury about the situation? >> the situation being a listing and the treatment of these cases. >> correct. >> i think so. it's coming out of all of the news reports that have come out in the last couple of years,
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there was never a discussion at the irs with the treasury about the situation until just recently. >> of the question was the report described in the discussed with them recently. i don't believe the specifics were described or discussed with them earlier but i don't know that. they were to buy me i don't think. >> who was your conversation with? >> i would have talked at some point to mr. patterson, the chief of staff, and subsequent to mr. george's discussion. >> you spoke with whom? >> mr. wollin and. >> how did that conversation go? what did the treasury have to say? >> we just talked through the troubling nature of the reports, and i indicat on fixing the prod
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that is where we talked about. >> they didn't give you any advice for counsel on how to move forward? >> noeth. >> how often do you meet with of the treasury leadership regarding the open audit? >> m i ns leadership we meet monthly with the commissioner or acting commissioner on a standing basis and then have communications as necessary. the secretary holds a monthly meeting with the bill heads and conjunction with those meetings i meet monthly with the general counsel of the department of the treasury, and then on an as needed basis with the deputy secretary mr. wollin. >> when did you first alert the treasury leadership and irs about this audit?
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>> i alerted the commissioner, then commissioner schulman on may 30th, 2012 and i subsequently alerted the general counsel of the department of the treasury on june 4th, and subsequently -- and i do not have the exact date alerted the deputy secretary, neil wolin on this matter and then on his presumption to the position, i mentioned it to the secretary lew. >> okay. so, may 30th would have been the first time that mr. schulman what have known about the troubling allegations? >> from my perspective i would assume that people within the internal revenue service would have gave him a heads up about this troubling matter, but i cannot say that for certain. >> in your report you indicate that the decision to target
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americans based on political police were made only within the irs. how did you determine that? >> these were through interviews with the irs staff both and cincinnati, ohio, as well as in the washington, d.c. area at the headquarters of the determination's unit and their xm organizations unit. >> did you interview mr. miller? >> we did not interview mr. miller. >> how would you know or did you interview anyone at the treasury? >> we did not. the reason for that is because at that time of our interviews, we had no indication because this was an ongoing matter and we didn't have any indication from those initial interviews that they were implicated in this matter. >> succumb have any one given you any indication that you need to visit with someone higher you would have had the authority to
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the islamic most recognized. >> there's been a lot of news reports this week that this has been a bad week for the president or for the administration but i will just tell you that after hearing additional testimony this morning, myself. that is the bottom line. wind neutral actors and our government choose sides and the results and that the highly corrosive and the democracy this is a violation clearly in the trust of the american people. mr. george, the report indicated, and the irs requested the donor list from the target of organizations obviously that is a concern from the perspective of the pattern of behavior at the irs based on the report from the delays of applications and targeting and also the dissemination of the confidential confirmation to and let me ask you this how long did the irs because you acknowledged this earlier from the 27 different organizations, how long did the irs have in its position these lists the
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shouldn't have had in the position, 27 different organizations. >> they didn't indicate them. we did inquire the length of time that they had maintained that information. but again, the -- they did acknowledge once they realized they shouldn't have collected at the destroyed it. but i do not have a direct answer as to how long they held onto it. >> do you know how long the lists were in the irs possession? >> i don't know. and look, they were bad. they were broad. should they have asked for them? probably not. was it a bad intent or bad management? like understanding is bad management. when we found out about that we reached out to people that had not sent them yet and we told them don't send them. we went to people who had sent them and told them we aren't
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going to use them unless we need to. we haven't used them on any of the cases and they are not being maintained in the day might have been destroyed in the ordinary course of the records retention. >> i have to report that was not done under oath. we have to be told by what we were told by the employees. >> how many donors were involved as part of that list? >> 27 is my understanding of the list of donors. as i pointed out, 13 of the 27 were from but he party groups. mr. miller as of irs practice to ask about a group's relationship
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with a specific person was not a partner organization that is applying for non-profit status as part of an application process. >> so it can be depended on the facts. is there a contractual relationship going on in some fashion for example we would be looking at private benefit. the donor list for the tea party i believe the numbers are a little different one way or another. the listing folks were the minority of the people who got the donor questions. i want to clarify the record. >> has the irs ever asked the question of an individual have the address what is the relationship with john doe when
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they ask an organization. >> can you rephrase the question? >> we were going down the line of question on a lengthy process of the question filed with an organization and the irs asked the question on an individual decided details on the relationship with this individual. is that a common practice, do they normally do that? >> on an individual case i should not and cannot speak to an individual case, sorry. >> would that be repercussions that would be followed up if it is determined to be inappropriate in that type of question. >> i would depend on the context again and i don't have the context. >> why it was asked, and was it a lack of controls and was it a mistake or something different than that?
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>> mr. miller let's go back to the planned question issue. when was cecilia told and asked the question? >> i don't have, you know, exact knowledge on that. >> who told her to ask the question? >> i don't know actually did i not sure. i really am not sure. >> what did you tell her about the background of the issue? >> what did i tell who? >> rody. >> i didn't have any questions with cecilia. >> did anyone give her an example of the ig report? >> i don't believe so. but again i did not have those conversations. i would be shocked if that happened. >> how long did she know about the report before the committee new? >> again, you would have to ask the people that have the conversation. but again it would shock me if
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she knew anything before she had the conversation with whomever she had. >> on march 28, on a route the commissioner a letter that basically asked him whether the local tea party groups of my district were being harassed or given lengthy questionnaires and were being discouraged from seeking tax-exempt status. that was march 28. on the june 22nd i got a letter from mr. grant that basically gave me a lot of assurances that nothing like that was taking place and that nothing out of the ordinary was going on and they were following a regular order. then following the time line, shortly after my first letter, short but for my first letter, mr. islami asked in a hearing of oversight hearing if there was
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anything going on at the irs about these applications and she was told by commissioner schulman i can give you assurances that there is absolutely no targeting going on. following that same time walling on the july 25th, we had another oversight committee hearing in which the commissioner miller and i had an extended conversation about this subject and that is in this transcript and anyone can get this on the internet and can read the questions. but the questions were very specifically about the tea party groups and their difficulties in getting their tax-exempt status of the lengthy conversations that they were having, the questionnaires that they were having to answer, and again,
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mr. miller, in that exchange that you and i had come all came away from that with what i felt were the assurances by you and your office that there were no extraordinary circumstances taking place and that this was just a backlog and there was nothing going on. is that your impression of the hearing today? >> when i sit and rest of your question to be was again we divide this into to. there is a question of the selection process and the question of what was going on at the time of the question. those were the over brought letters that have been referred to continuously here. we have centralized and i have to take a look at that. i was talking about the fact
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that we've fixed that problem. >> at the time you knew there were lists being made, and they were delineations and there was discrimination going on and that there were steps being taken to try to correct its. i didn't have the full possession of all the facts, sir. islamic this is a question of my local northeastern county was sent and it is a list that all taxpayers would not answer and should not have to answer but asks some questions that should have never been asked a printed copy of every page of your website and every tweet from your twitter account.
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explain your relationship of a copy of every single e-mail. >> in every case it has led to the discouragement of these parties in and has limited their ability to educate the public. can i find out as a member of congress the groups in my district that have applied for and have either been denied or their application is continues to be in suspension. spinnaker granting the 61 of the three authorities. 6103 information and if it is
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denied, then there is a redacted version going out and if approved then everything becomes public. within the country did 6103, which mr. kemp can grant you the ability to see, that could happen. >> the time is expired. >> there would be restrictions however. you are like it to last for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. as i sit here and listen to this testimony having read the report in all the multiple services of information that are now coming out i'm going to tell you that the trust for the irs to begin with was already shaken by the american people. i know whenever someone gets any piece of information from the irs it doesn't feel very good and they are notr confident. as even before this happened
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that they are going to be treated fairly, what has happened here in this testimony that we are doing today and i want to say what mr. price said, if i were sitting at home watching this on c-span, i would probably be questioning, again, but there doesn't seem to be clarity. how can i trust? let me go back as i listening to the testimony and the opening remarks there is the state and it then you acknowledge in the response that there was abuse. so this is more than just foolish mistakes, this is of use you felt the applicants were dealt with fairly. then you turned around and said answering to mr. o'neill that there was a litmus test that was a political activity. and you then said political politics is always when we ask questions and in this type of application. i want to go to page number six
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on the report that talks about the words that were used like a tea party and the patriots and then at another point in time, public advocacy and lobbying to make america better. i want to know if you say that there is a litmus test and the politics is always where we ask questions any time there is an application that seems to go can you give me the words that would have been used beside what appears to me to be all conservative questions. if we look for in the in the application that says progressive is that anywhere? >> i will refer to mr. george's statement idea believe his statement indicated what my understanding is.
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this is the only thing that folks were looking at as they scan. >> but you're not answering the question. is there any of these things in the criteria that was outside of what i am seeing in the report that would have indicated to me that the conservative groups applying for this status that you had a we to say okay the litmus test as this seems to be political, so where is the word progressive? >> i am not arguing that it was bad or conservative based. >> then i would say it's targeted. you can't have that both ways. there are 16 times in this report that says that there was targeting. so, i believe that as you are giving this testimony that you can't have that go both ways. now there's also an effective management that is talked about in this report coming and even if you get outside of this and
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say there was no targeting, i want to know how a couple of employees that are considered low were level could have done what was done here because this says to the american people that out of thousands of employees that you have that the irs nobody's watching this if it was noted in 2010. then in 2013 we are just now finding out about this that is an effective management because there should have been somebody overlooking this that said that this must stop and i'm going to come back in 30 days to make sure. but it continued and now we have got 400 applications, some of them over three years. this is more than a ineptitude. i mean, this is more than just mismanagement. i know my time is going to run out, so i want to come to you because you told ms. jenkins, you told the general counsel of
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the treasury you cannot recall the exact date that you told the deputy secretary neil wolin paray do you recall if it was soon after informing the general counsel was it like a week or month? >> i cannot give a timeframe that i can say that it was shortly thereafter. >> can we get that date? is it possible? >> unfortunately i don't keep the date cleaner but i will do my best. >> mr. reed is read >> sorry time is expired. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> mr. miller, mr. george, we have sat here for quite some time coming and i will tell you that this is offensive. this is offensive to hear this testimony. and what i would like to do is -- i know you are disagreeing with the word targeting, mr. millard. i suggest the american people
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will make the determination. i will give this whole situation and may miss the u.s. targeting date. i will put it out there. we are going to get to the bottom of this and we are going to get on this until it's done. you were not fired from your job to get i can tell you in my private experience you would have been fired on the spot. and all you were allowed to do is resign and of retired? and now you come here and somehow try to say i did the honorable thing by falling on my sword? nothing that is going to happen to you. you were going to get your full benefits. >> nothing bad is happening. that is the level of accountability in washington, d.c. now. you came here on the taxpayer dollar today correct.
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he said we need to ask the who, what, when, where and how. we have dodged and leave the whole time for the hearing as to why this happened and i don't think we are going to get an answer today. there was gross mismanagement in regards to this situation. i want to know who you identified that had the responsibility to manage the situation. i want names and i want to know where they work and what they did. the primary individual located in washington, joseph brandt was her surprise her and was located in washington and was located in cincinnati there were a number of people directed and the acting director for a significant period of time that
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this was occurring and then there were various management technical units and managers in the light and it's also listing that is required. when i have my discussions with of the commissioner and the secretary of the general counsel, it was not to inform them of the results of the audit. is the fact that we were conducting the audit. ..
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you didn't identify those individuals in any type of management oversight when you became aware of the situation in may of 20 12th? >> i certainly was aware of my own management chain, yes, sir. >> okay. and so who in your management chain specifically did you talk to about this situation? >> after may you mean of 2012? >> you became aware of it. you talked to the people in
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your management change. >> i talked to joseph grant. i talked to lois as well. >> those two, those are all you talked to? >> i talked to folks that went out and worked on case. i mentioned nan marks. >> that was nancy marks in cincinnati who you orally disciplined. >> no, no. nancy marks is a senior technical advisor who led a team to look at this in cincinnati. >> who is the employee again you orally disciplined who you thought may have -- >> i apologize. can't remember the game. i will give it to you after the hearing. >> you said that person who was orally disciplined wasn't probably involved in it but potentially another employee. who was that other employee? >> let me go back. there were two employees. one of whom was reassigned. one of whom i asked to be oral alley counsel sell. the one that was or rally counsel sell they informed heled all the managers
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in to learn the individual they doesn't didn't know. >> do you have the names. >> i have to send you names. >> i formally request for the record those names. >> thank you. mr. young is recognized. >> mr. miller, i want to know why all this happened. you and miss lerner said over the past week irs officials started targeting americans for their political believes in march of 2010. that was after observing a surge in applications for status of 501(c)(4). that was your rationale. to support this claim you both cited an increase from about 1500 applications in 2010 to nearly 3500 in 2012. but data contained in the ig audit said the targeting began in march 2010, before this uptick. in fact the audit also says on page 3, that the number about 501(c)(4) applications for all of 2010 was actually less than in 2009. mr. miller, you said here today that you accept the ig
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report's finding of fact. >> uh-huh. >> how do you reconcile the facts i have just laid out showing no uptick in 501(c)(4) applications with your state the motivation of targeting conservative groups? >> i have to go back look at numbers, sir there was an uptick whether it was in 2008 -- >> sir you agreed with the finding of fact in the ig report. it says there was no uptick. how do you reconcile the two. >> i have to look at the numbers, sir. i can't speak to that. >> you don't agree with the ig report? >> i would have to look at ig report on that. >> mr. miller, in june of 2011, miss lerner learned about the rack tis of targeting conservative group for compelled disclosure of donor list and other nfrlgs. she learned that was going on more ever for more than a year where she claims she attempted to put a stop to it. yet i have a letter here bearing miss lerner's name. stated march 16, 2012. in that letter she directs a
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conservative indiana group to comply with a previously sent inappropriate information request under penalty of perjury. i have that request here. so one year after she said she stopped this practice, miss lerner sent a letter demanding the group fulfill a request she had already determined to be inappropriate. a request that included a demand for donor information. this strikes me aspect lar to say the least. it seems to contradict claims that somebody at the irs tried to stop the harrassment in 2011. further, this indiana group had their 501(c)(4) status denied on february 18, 2013. but four days later, on february 22nd, 2013, their 501(c)(4) request was granted. even though they never provided the required information. so after seeing these actions, in an approval of an application that looks a lot to me like someone was
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covering their tracks, over that four-day period, how can i assure my constituents that employees of the irs aren't targeting conservative groups they disagree with? >> so let me put this in, sort of time order because i think there is, again there is some fundamental mashing of issues. there are two issues, which is the list issue which began about the time you say it did i believe. one is, how we processed the cases. the done nor list letter, i don't know that case but the donor list letter occurred much later in time. it occurred, i believe i will have to go back and check this, i believe it occurred after lois stepped in to stop the listing, the first issue. the development of those cases was still problematic. we had not got to the bottom of that and that's why that would have been the case. i don't have a, i don't have
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an answer for you on the last piece of that. >> wait a second here. she said she resolved this situation. she said she had stopped targeting of conservative groups. a year later she demands a group fulfill a request for the inappropriate information. i don't believe you've addressed that issue, sir. -- left to do so. >> i apologize. >> first you should know while her signature is on there, her signature is on 70,000 applications. let's not personalize this one to miss lerner. secondly and probably more importantly, i mean, i think that, again, my understanding and what i think mr. george has said is that in 2011, june or july, whatever it was, she handled and fixed the list issue. the cases we're still in development. the cases needed to be in development. there were issues. we just did a remarkably bad
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time of it. >> all right, sir. and then, it's just curious, i will reiterate, a denial on february 18, 2013. then a granting four days later. it does look a bit fishy there. we'll have to clarify that. >> time has expired. you will have to respond in writing. mr. kelly. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. george you have been on the job since november of 2004, is that correct. >> 2004. >> anything rise to this level before? >> no, nothing. >> can i ask you why did it take so long from the first time we knew this was happening to the report? the president said just the other day, i think it was yesterday he just got a look at the report. that is the first time he knew anything about it. >> well -- >> other than reading in the papers i guess. >> are you asking how? >> have you ever seen that magnitude before, anything of this magnitude before? >> no. >> it has never come up before? >> no, it has not. >> all right. thank you. mr. miller, you've been on the job for quite some years but the current job you're
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in is from november 9th, 2012. is that right? you just took over as acting commissioner? >> in november of 12, yes. >> okay. >> i had both jobs. >> but before that, one of your jobs you were the commissioner of tax-exempt and government entities division. so you actually were in the job that we're questioning now that group of what was happening, there? would have been in since gnat any. >> no. >> you were never in cincinnati. >> no. >> is cincinnati some outpost? >> so obviously the irs is a nationwide organization. >> i understand that. i understand that. i want to tell you, listen, believe me if you think it is uncomfortable sitting over there, be a private individual when the irs is across from you questioning. it is uncomfortable for everybody. my question more specifically how did cincinnati to where they are? how did they develop that strategy and how did they know to go after these certain groups? how did they target those folks? that just, a couple rookies just showed up? didn't really know what they
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were doing. >> so, again i would, i would point to the tigta report on what happened. >> i understand that. i understand that. but i'm hearing, these are couple, always low level people that pushed the wrong button. now, when cincinnati can't figure out, who do they confer with, who is their counsel, when they're looking at these entities tax-exempt entities? come back here to d.c.? >> there is two possibilities. >> yes or no, does it come back to d.c.. >> yeah. >> in d.c. and cincinnati pretty well-connected and understand what is going on. this doesn't come as a great shock to anybody. down come as a shock. you know what it does to the american people? established what they feared so off then. i have a grandson afraid to get out of bed because owe thinks there is somebody under the bed that will grab him. most americans fear that about the irs. you get a letter from you folks or phone call, it is with terror. this kind of reconfirms that. you know what, they can do almost they want to anybody they want, anytime they want.
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this is very chilling for the american people. now i know that, where you're at, you're going, you're resigning. you're walking away from it. but this is not going to go away. this is a pandora's box that has been open. i hope to get the lidback on it. i don't believe the white house just found out about this in a news report, president happened to grab a tv shot or just read mr. george's report and says you know what? anybody ever caught this before? i'm just getting first look at this. shouldn't somebody be responsible. i'm thinking executive office, maybe treasury falls in there. i'm not sure we understand how that organizational chart works. but i am really concerned. now, i got to tell you, where you're sitting you should be outraged. but you're not. the american people should be outraged and they are. and this committee, this has nothing to do with political parties. this has to do with highly-targeted groups, this
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reconfirms everything that the american public believes. this is a huge blow to the faith and trust to the american people have in their government. is there any limit to the scope of where you folks can go? is there anything at all? is there any way we could ask you, is there any question that you shouldn't have asked? my goodness, how much money do you have in your wallet? who do you get e-mails from? whose sign you put up in your front yard? this is a tax question? you don't think that is intimidating? it sure as hell is intimidating. and i don't know i got any answers from you today. and i don't know that, what mr. george said is great work. you know what? there is a heck of a lot more that has too come out here and anybody that sits here today to listen to what you have to say i am more concerned today than i was before and the fact that you all can do just about anything you want to anybody, you know you can put anybody, out of business, that you want anytime you want. i got to tell you, you talked about horribly-run
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organization? if you're on the other side of the fence, you're not given that excuse. and when the irs comes in, you're not allowed to be shoddy. you're not allowed to be run horribly. you're not allowed to make mistakes. you're not allowed to do one damn thing that doesn't come in compliance. if you do you're held responsible right then. the american people see what is going on in their government. this is absolute overreach and this is out rage for all america. i yield back. [applause] >> all right. mr. griffin is recognized for five minutes. thank you -- [applause] >> the committee will come to order. we'll have order in the committee. mr. griffin is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to make a couple comments first. you know the surge in these groups that are the subject of this hearing is not related to a supreme court case, if there was a surge at all.
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it is related to the nonsense in washington. that is why people were getting engaged. in fact the supreme court case that has been so much discussed here has no bearing on these groups ultimately. that is ridiculous. what this hearing has demonstrated for me that our most expansive federal powers are given to our most intrusive agency. you add on top of that incompetence and whatever else we have and it's a disaster. my colleague talks about asking people how much money they have in their wallet. i got a text last night at dinner from a friend of mine who is supporter in arkansas, in little rock. he is being audited. yesterday morning he had to meet with the irs. he was outraged. he sent me a text. he said they asked me how much cash do you carry in your wallet? how much cash does your wife carry in her wallet? internet?
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you know, i don't care what rules are written down or not written down, these people ought to have enough common sense to know this is just stupid to ask this kind of stuff. if they don't know that on their own without something written in a regulation, they ought to quit or be fired. it's craziness. now, i've known you for a long time. general, and, i have looked at your investigation. i appreciate the work you've done. it is really an audit. let's be clear to the press. this is not an investigation. you did not request e-mails? you did not do what you would do in an investigation. there's a reason you don't know who came up with this. you didn't investigate that. you might be now. are you? >> i'm not in the position, sir, to discuss whether or not -- >> that means you are. so the bottom line is, the bottom line is, for those
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looking this is an audit. and it's helpful but it is the tip of the iceberg. it is the tip of the iceberg. it is looking at metrics and interviewing some folks. we work together years ago up here on the hill, right? in that building next to us. we know how important e-mails are. and i trust that you're going to get to the bottom of the e-mails. let me, let me just mention real quickly, if you want to know where a lot of this comes from, look at senator levin's letter. senator levin specifically mentioned a bunch of of the groups that y'all targeted. the other senators made the point, but they didn't mention specific groups. it was senator levin's letter, to some extent. you all were doing what democrat senators were asking. a lot of the press here ought to go to the senate when you're done and ask them some questions. now with regard to sarah hall ingram, you may have been confused when she worked there, she was there
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from 09 to 2012. you said you had horrendous customers service. and what happened to her? she got $100,000 in bonuses and she was promoted. wow!. incredible! you said the buck stops with you? well it stopped with her before that. she was directly in charge of these rules, of this targeting, what did she get? bonuses? and moved to a job. you know what her job is now? she's coordinating section 1414 of obama kiar. what is that -- obamacare. that is the provision that says there is an exemption or an exception to disclosure of tax information. what is that? that means the treasury can share your tax information with hhs for the purposes of implementing obamacare to see whether you have got a really expensive health care
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plan or what you. it is right there in section 1414. she provided horrendous customer service under her watch and now she is going to do the same implementing obamacare. swell. this is the perfect, this is a perfect example why we need tax reform. if you want to diminish and limit the power of the irs, you've got to reduce the complexity of the tax code. and take them out of it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. mr. renacci. recognized forefive minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as a cpa who representing many taxpayers in the last three decades i'm really appalled. i'm really appalled the agency was able to take these actions. mr. george, you made a comment, you said these actions, even though they were contrary to the treasury policy at irs, it was not illegal but inappropriate. mr. miller, if a taxpayer was in front of your agency
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and they did something that was contrary to treasury policy, would that be illegal or inappropriate? >> if they did something contrary? no -- >> treasury policy on their tax return. >> no. it we would be auditing them. >> i know we would be auditing them. i seen your agency bring people to tears because you say it is inappropriate. just amazing the wade you're answering some of these questions. you know, you answered a question, mr. roskam, said, i don't know. if an american taxpayer said to you, i don't know the answer, what would your agency do to that person? >> we would work with them. you know -- >> i've seen what you've done to them when they say they don't know. that he is the problem. that's what the problemmer here is. mr. miller, you talked about at some point in time you said these were serious infractions. you said you were outraged. when did that become, when were you outraged? when did youir this and when did you become outraged? >> may 3rd of 2012.
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>> so may 3rd of 2012, you became outraged. when you, you testified in front of this committee on july of 2012, why weren't you outraged then? >> i was answering the questions that i was asked, sir and, i knew that tigta had this under its viewing and, that, this was going to come out. >> but you were outraged a couple months before? you didn't let congress now of your outrage at that point in time? >> that point in time i fixed the problem. >> you fixed the problem. mr. chairman, i want to offer in the record a statement from one of my constituents, the ohio christian alliance. >> without objection. >> the ohio christian alliance is one of those organizations, they were applying for c-3, an educational trust they were there, they're advocating life, faith, and freedom. is there, any, what was the irs concerned about? what were they concerned
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about when it comes to life, faith and freedom. >> sir, i can't speak to an individual case. i have no knowledge. >> i'm just using an example. life, faith and freedom? that is something that the irs would pull application for and actually took over 13 months. the timeline on this, the on february of, they filed in february of 2011 and in march they were told they would have an answer in 90 days. in december they got a letter that said they had, two weeks to respond to their application would be, their application would be denied. then, they responded. by the way, some of the questions, you know, you talk about what are some of the questions. i mean they list here, is your organization or were actions of the organization against anti-christian bigotry more accurately classified as education in nature? if your organization is engaged in such activity? i mean, some of those questions appropriate? >> don't know because it is a specific case but i will say one of our difficult
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areas is determining what's politics and what's education. it's a very difficult line. >> i don't think anything in this application leans towards politics. it leaned toward, as i said, life, faith and freedom. mr. miller, i understand that after the presidential election the irs approved dozens of applications from conservative groups. why was there such a large approval after the election? >> i don't have that information. my information is that we, in may i asked that the cases be grouped in a fashion that we move them quickly through and tried to fix the process problems we had. there were a number of applications from tea parties and others that were approved at that time and we pushed hard. >> was there a process changed post-election? >> not that i'm aware of. >> mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. renacci.
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that brings this hearing to an end. but i promise the american people, this investigation has just begun. hearing adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> the ways and means committee gavels out after four hours hearing from the outgoing, acting irs commissioner steven miller and from russell george, who is the treasury inspect general for tax administration. it is their report the reason behind this hearing today. also additional hearings planned next week in both
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the house and senate. we're opening up phone lines here on c-span2 to get your reaction to what you heard today. here's paul ryan, the budget committee chairman and a member of ways and means. he spoke earlier today and asked the witnesses questions. here's how to participate. phone lines are open for democrats it is 202-585-3885. for republicans 202-585-3886. all others, 202-585-3776. make sure you mute your television or radio when you call in. want to remind you as well, if you missed the hearing today, it will be on our website at we'll show all of you to you later on c-span beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern. let's take a look, also remind you to check facebook as well. i did want to point out the treasury inspector general report before we get to that first call. we have linked to their report on our website. this is the bottom line,
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what tigta, you heard reference to tigta, throughout the hearing today. what they found in their report. they found that the irs used inappropriate criteria that detailed for review, tea party or other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based on their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention. ineffective management allowed inappropriate criteria to be developed and stay in place more than 18 months, resulting in substantial delays processing certain applications and allowing unnecessary information requests to be issued. part of the report that you can read on our website, to the phones, robin is in colorado on our democrats line. go ahead. >> caller: hi. i like to say i do believe that money in politics lies at the roots of a lot of our problems. citizens united case is relevant and, the we need financia campgn reform. second of all, through a series of personal
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situations, i have had to deal with the irs over the last 18 months. i wasn't able to pay my taxes because of a breach of contract and they have been uneringly polite. they have followed a process. i have never felt intimidated or had an antagonism against me. i found the irs to be very professional. so some of the characterizations that i hear from the conservatives of boogeyman under the bed going to grab your ankle, in reality i personally have not experienced that. thank you. >> terry's next. he is on a republican line in missouri. kabul, missouri. i hope i said it right, terry, go ahead. >> caller: i would like to start off by saying, watching this whole hearing you can see the incompetence of the irs through mr. miller's comment or i should say lack of comment or lack of knowledge of any
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of the situations underneath him. i just think this is the perfect time for the united states people to come together for tax reform. this should be the eye-opener to move forward with tax reform. >> mr. miller's, predecessor, douglas shulman who was the irs commissioner appointed by george w. bush and ended his term earlier this year, actually late last year, mr. shulman will testify before the house oversight committee last week. look for coverage on the c-span networks. green bay is next. green bay, wisconsin, independent line and this is ian. >> caller: hi. >> you're on the air. go ahead. >> caller: well, frankly i don't think anything he said was truthful and he was pretty much covering his own behind for the lack of a better term and those ahead of him. so, frankly i don't think this investigation was,
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proficient, no. >> ian in green bay, thanks for weighing in. some thoughts on twitter, we're following the hashtag, ir from emily, if you missed the last half hour of irs hearing you missed something. a reminder we'll reair all of tonight at 8:00 on c-span. dorothy says, yes, we need tax reform but we need irs reform even more. one more from tim. is there any long-term damage caused by blood boiling. just checking. hash tag is irs. kissimmee, florida, steven on the democrats line. >> caller: yes, good morning. good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> caller: this is, another witch-hunt by the republican party. nothing gets done. the american people pay for it by nothing being done for other people. they keep calling us american citizens.
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they certainly, the republicans certainly do not work for us. they work for themselves and their rich friends. and i never have voted for a republican. i never would. and all thee want to do is pass taxes off on the little guy. and protect the rich of the richest and that's the continuing song. another investigation of wasted money and wasted of the american people's time. >> this video that we're showing you is from earlier. the man in the middle is steven miller, the again the acting outgoing and acting irs commissioner. virginia, lease, is a republican line. >> caller: yes, hi. >> go ahead. you're on the air. >> caller: hi. i would like to say first of all your last caller is very misinformed. it seemed to me, and i watched the whole thing,
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mr. miller avoided every question asked. there does definitely need to be something going on here. if you look at the timeline, it was may before the election. and that -- time to quell some republicans. it is, it is absolutely ridiculous and this man gets to retire and we're going to pay for him for the next 30, 40 years. to live off his retirement through the government. . .
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poor service we provided. the affected organizations and the american public deserves better. partisanship or even the perception of partisanship has no place at the irs. it cannot even appear to be a consideration. in the practices described in the treasury inspector general's report. i've reviewed the treasury inspector's report and i believe its conclusions are consistent with that. i think that what happened here is that foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selection. the listing describes the report while intolerable was a mistake -- we worked to the process as
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described and we have implemented changes to make sure that this type of thing never happens again. and if. the management will take appropriate action with respect to those responsible. i would be happy to answer your questions. >> host: part of miller's opening testimony before the house ways and means committee. they wrapped up the hearing looking at all irs targeting of certain conservative groups. we will show all of that tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. we continued a couple more calls and reaction to the hearing. virginia beach is next democrat line. natasha, hello. >> caller: hi. i have been wondering why other groups, the irs did this to other groups such as the naacp and church who spoke against bush. i don't understand why there was
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no uproar by the republicans at that time and i'd also like to know if the former head of the irs would be held accountable since all of this started under his watch. he conveniently left for all the defense. >> host: douglas will testify, the former head of the irs, the former commissioner will testify next week. his term ended in november. muskie d. oklahoma, you're of next. tom is on the gop line. how're you doing? >> caller: quick question. my brother is behind on his taxes and is paying tons of money to get rectified. i made retired vet and behind on line and have to rectify might back taxes. >> host: how much is that that
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tax, how much do you go? >> caller: looking at it is probably ten to 14. then my brother was about the same. and he went and got a tax attorney in the cost him tons of money. the point is they want us to pay our taxes, which we are supposed to because the country cannot run unless we do. the only thing watching this, i haven't heard about the common person. i've been in this country for 22 years, trying to get my money together to pay somebody to help me get my back taxes taking care of. and they are talking about the big groups, the big companies coming and what nobody's talked about the common man yet and that's what i don't understand. >> host: some of the criteria -- thank you for the call to get some of the criteria in the inspector general's leave port, this is the criteria that they were looking for in some of
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these tax-exempt applications. this is from the report that you can find at, the criteria for the potential cases is published in the report. the terms tea party patriots or 9-12 project is referenced in the case file and includes government spending, government tax, by government advocacy or lobbying to, "and make america a better place to live, and statement in the case filed criticizing how the country is being run. they say that the criteria developed by the determination's unit, that's part of the irs there in cincinnati, gives the appearance that the irs is not impartial in conducting this mission. let's get one more call to stanford connecticut. independent line. chuck, go ahead. >> caller: good afternoon. it is in my opinion that the republicans, they are having this hearing and link obama to this thing, but obama is not involved in it. he's not involved in this and he's not involved in the ap to
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the is my opinion that the republicans are trying to make this about mitt romney being denied the presidency because of the irs incompetence in targeting the tea party. that's my opinion. >> host: the president has made a couple comments about the irs investigation in a couple of appearances, news conferences earlier this week and you can find those of course on in our video library. we are going to take you to baltimore for an event with the president coming up in about 15 minutes or so. the president is at a manufacturing judging company in baltimore pitching if he's going to talk about jobs and manufacturing. it should be coming up at about 1:20. we will have it live on c-span2. a conversation from this morning's washington journal from yesterday's vote on the house. the third time republicans have voted to repeal the 2010 health care law.
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>> joining us now is a democrat from california. she serves the 21st district of santa barbara, st. louis and santa maria. hello. >> guest: nice to be here. >> host: what does it say that the service 37 to vote on the affordable care act was taken yesterday? >> guest: well, pedro, the health care is working now with this new health care law in place. that's happening. but in the meantime, the house of representatives is stock on whether they approve it or not. the american people are taking the parts that work for them, and we are moving it forward. >> host: so as far as the effort itself, -- >> guest: it is the 37 to appeal as the district said and the speakers were talking about, but it's going to die in the senate as the others have. >> guest: how would you grade the administration's effort on the affordable care act? >> guest: well, i hope that we
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are making progress giving a i worked very hard for a year on one of the committees to get this out of the committee and onto the floor for the vote. the was a very tough and a good year because we produce a product. what we didn't do is have a format in net for providing education to the american people. and so then there is a gap of time where people have not -- the watch the contingency face. they saw what was coming out of it and they didn't realize how it impacted their lives. in a lot of people still don't. >> host: so with that, a condition of congress itself. was that the white house, was it together? >> guest: there is room to go around. the problem is -- and i came to congress knowing we had a broken health care system in this country, and i was determined to try to do something about it and was very pleased to be a part of -- a big milestone for word. but the truth is if you are a senior, you know you need
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medicare because your health needs increase. and if you are very poor and challenge, you also know you need medicaid. but for the best enduring people that are healthy, they don't think about having health care benefits. >> host: as far as that on the education, the rollout aspects of the affordable care act, the of the criticisms by some democrats on how this will not come apart if it is education and part of it is the condition where the individual pieces lie. do you share those concerns? >> guest: i want people to see the good parts of the bill. and so for me maybe it is my background as a public health worker again, that is the ability to have preventive health care. when i was a school nurse for many years in my community, it was very clear to me which kids had regular checkups. and it had a family that if you have a conference about not just an emergency accident, because you can always go to a clinic, but although that is very stressful because if you don't have health insurance.
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but for the problems that arise, how what is going to be addressed long-term was really clear which families have access to health care and which did not. and i knew that we needed to a big step in thatpeople.s direction. >> host: lois capps to talk about the vote that took place yesterday and the house of representatives part of it on the affordable rollout. here are the numbers, (202)585-3880 for the democrats. 202-58-5381 for republicans, (202)585-3882 for independent and you can send a tweet and e-mail as well. the house is an at 9:00 today, so ms. capps will stay with us until that time and the representative will take your questions to get we start with brian of salem pennsylvania on the independent line. >> caller: good morning, ms. capps kidding at first i wanted to know if you read the
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entire wall before you voted for it. >> guest: thank you for calling. and yes, bill walls before i committee for an entire year. not only did i read it, but we struggle over and debated over it in a very bipartisan way giving it. it is a very complicated law, but we do health care in a kind of complex way in this country to get we don't turn it over to the government in a single page program. we know we need some government assistance in certain parts of it and the question is where and how postcode next is mel from arkansas. good morning. sorry, mel is gone to the use of speaker boehner yesterday in the house sitting by the stack of regulation that was referred to several times by the house republicans. are you concerned about the regulatory side of that much paperwork and laws involved in the small? >> guest: we need to streamline it and that is a lot of regulation that there were a
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lot of requirements for put into the bill. in this year debating about it, and i think now what you get when you pass a major piece of legislation is something that needs to be refined and improved over time to i think we saw this with medicare when it was passed and this one, too, has a lot of pieces in it to be those will be streamlined hopefully into something people can understand because everyone wants access to their own provider. they want a message to have so they can afford it and that's the piece that comes together. >> host: for better not because your medical background. what does that stack of paper mean for me then? >> guest: we don't want it to mean a stack of papers you have to fill out. it doesn't necessarily. >> host: that's not the regulations though. >> guest: that has to be translated into something you as the provider can understand clearly. for the bulk of the patients and their doctors, this isn't going to change. they also have an insurance plan, the heavy doctor they go to and that's going to continue. it's the people for whom this has been outside of their reach
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that they need to have the same system in place. >> host: said the medical community shouldn't worry, is that what you're saying? >> guest: we all need educating as this happens. i, you don't know when you write legislation and touch base -- we had dozens of hearings with people from all walks of life, providers, patients, consumer groups coming and they come in and you put it together and you rolled out and should be fairly straight forward and we will see that as it is being delivered putative >> host: one of the issues that took place yesterday, there was a conference between the tea party senator rand paul talk about medical records as part of his concern for the future the especially when it comes to the irs. here's what he had to say. >> i am a physician. i'm quite worried about the privacy of medical records can get i am quite worried that your medical records now will be evaluated by the irs. that seems to have the ability and seems to have the pension to use political -- political
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persuasion and political of head to search out the political opponents. so, i am very concerned about this. someone needs to be held responsible. someone needs to be imprisoned. someone needs to be prosecuted. the resignation is a step in the right direction but we need to find out who wrote this policy, who approved the policy, and the need to be held accountable. >> host: representative capps, the idea of medical records and privacy can get >> guest: the senator was speaking about a specific situation. but we have always had the challenge of making sure patient confidentiality is maintained at all costs. that really hasn't changed a lot of this legislation. >> host: so the irs holding or taking in that information, does that concern you? >> guest: yes it does. but we want to make sure they don't do it, they don't overreach. that, we need to make sure if that isn't in the legislation we need to address it. >> host: sacramento california. kevin. >> caller: hello, how are you doing, senator --
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>> guest: i was in sacramento today, kevin? >> caller: [inaudible] but anyway, i'm listening to, you know, everybody speaks about the affordability of the health care act to get here i am trying to do the right thing, taking care of my family to but i get myself in a minor situation where i injured myself. i go to the medical facility there in sacramento at uc-davis and was there probably no more than an hour and a half kidding it turns out that my medical situation turned out to be not severe, just had a little white ammonia but it ended up costing $21,000, which i definitely cannot afford to get and as i told the medical professionals, look, believe me, i want to pay my bills and i want to pay it earnestly. but when you go from making probably ten to $15,000 a year
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and then your pay scale goes up because of the needs changing, my profession which i happen to be away from home to make these medical -- you know, now to be a better husband, a better father, utter taxpayer. i don't get the help that everybody speaks of giving it i'm not getting it and i know a lot of people in my situation now here on the road and other professions that are not getting the help. but yet, still we are hearing republicans, democrats alike. everybody wants the same thing. but instead of blaming people, why don't everybody truly work together and show the public that we are here for you. stop talking about being here for us. >> host: okay, thank you come caller. >> guest: else you do, everybody does, first and
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foremost by families is am i able to provide for them. you know, and we have been into this when you ended up in a medical facility, the basic protection is to have adequate health insurance. and access to that insurance doesn't come with every job. the goal of the health care affordable care act is to make that available for you so that you know if something happens you have access to health care and then for the sake of your children you have referred to that they have ongoing examinations and treatment in preventing programs. >> host: how will be affordable c.a.r.e. reduce the fundamental cost of health care for everyone but not just premiums. >> guest: health care is way too expensive. this bill, the legislation of the affordable care act has to get everybody on coverage. hopefully there are ways the costs will come down as well >> host: how do you see those
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coming down? >> guest: bye giving the consumers more choices and the patients if they are given those kind of choices, the people will tend to pick something that is affordable and that has the best opportunities for them. this health care reform law is based on the capitalistic system of the competition works and an array of insurance options. but the subsidies of that you can afford them and you were going to take the one that is in to help you stay safe and healthy kidney that is what the exchanges are about. most people have not had access to any kind of exchange. the final leg of the insurance policy that was handed to them and most people couldn't afford it. >> host: do you see a uniform application throughout the 50 states or will that be piecework? >> guest: this is going to happen as the state's role out individually. but that is what we wanted also as much choice as possible so the states wouldn't feel like they were handed a cookie cutter, you know, format but also develop the kind of program
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that would work for their stake in >> host: connecticut is next and this is judy on the republican line. >> caller: pinnacle of that in the video library btu light to baltimore now. president obama of heating up the company dedge. life coverage now on c-span. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪ >> hello, baltimore. [cheering] it is wonderful to see all of you. give duncan a velt of applause
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for the great introduction. [applause] i want to thank all of you for the warm welcome of a great hospitality and i tell you what, i'm going to return the favor by hosting your super bowl champion baltimore ravens at the white house this summer. [cheering] [applause] we will have ray louis in the china room. what could go wrong? [laughter] i want to thank the ceo, peter bouy in the plant manager roger plume and the entire team for showing me around this great facilities. i was told that one of your customers once named a dredge after president clinton. so i have my fingers crossed. never had the dredge named after me, so i'm looking forward to that. i've come here today to talk
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about our single most important priority in the country right now, and that is reigniting the true engine of our economic growth, and that is a rising, thriving middle class. [applause] as i said in my state of the union address this year, that is our number star. that's what we have to focus on. that is what has to dhaka and all of our efforts. we have great people who are championing the middle class families every single day. first of all come in your outstanding governor. come on martin o'malley colin you're outstanding mayor. [applause] you have got outstanding members of congress led by your senior senator barbara mikulski.
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and you're own leader in the house of representatives, he is doing a great job every single day and he loves this state, steny hoyer. [applause] so we have got some extraordinary folks here. eli -- elijah cummings is here. [applause] but more importantly, elijah's mom is here. [applause] and we are so proud of elijah, but his mama apparently prays for me every day so i'm grateful l oftheall of your members of congress, every
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single day are working and fighting on your behalf in terms of making sure that we are growing, an economy that creates outstanding middle class jobs. that's the challenge that we should be rallying around every single day. and i know it can seem frustrating sometimes when it seems like washington's priorities aren't the same as your priorities. i know it often seems like folks down there are more concerned with their jobs than with yours. others may get distracted by chasing every fleeting issue that passes by, but the middle class will always be my number one focus, period. your jobs, your families come in your communities. that's why i ran for president but that's what drives me every day as i stepped into the oval office, that's what i'm going to keep fighting for over the next four years. [applause] and that's why i'm so proud to have these partners.
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you know, john sarbanes i saved for last because the congressman sarbanes come he himself is doing a great job, but when i first came in, his father is one of the people i so admired in the senate. he had served for a long time. and i remember a conversation that we had -- he probably doesn't remember -- but i asked him, i can to pay him a visit and i said what is your advice and he said just keep in mind the people that sent you, because here in washington sometimes people get distracted. but you're here to work on behalf of your constituents, and if you stick to that, you're going to be just fine. that's what's happening here in maryland. under governor mali's leadership, maryland has won back almost 100% of the jobs that were claimed by the recession. [applause]
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so you might not know if you were just watching the news and exposed to all these partisan rallies in washington but the truth is there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about where this country is headed. especially after all that we have been through over the past several years. and that has to encourage us to roll up our sleeves and work together and take all the challenges that are still holding back the economy and holding down the working families. now, the good news is in a little over three years, businesses like this one have created more than 6.5 million new jobs. and while our unemployment rate is still too high, it is the lowest its been since 2008. [applause] that's good news. but that's not enough because we've also got to create evenred we've got to do it even faster.
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corporate profits have skyrocketed at an all-time high. now we have to make sure that the middle class wages and incomes are going up, too because families all across america haven't seen their take-home pay rise for nearly a decade. that is the next phase. it's good the companies are profitable. i want you to be profitable. i want you to be taking more home in your paycheck to the [applause] our housing market is healing. but that's not enough and now we have to help more families stay in their homes or refinance to take advantage of these historic low interest rates. our deficits are shrinking at the fastest rate in decades. that's the truth. that is worth in applause, sure. [applause] you will always know about listening to folks in washington, but the fact is our
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deficits are going down faster than they have gone down in decades. but we still have to create a budget that is smart and doesn't hurt middle class families or harm our critical investments and to our future. and barbara mikulski is on the appropriations committee fighting hard to make sure that this sequester that is slowing down growth, and we are starting to see growth slowing down because of furloughs and cuts in defense spending and a whole bunch of stuff that wasn't well thought through. we've got to make sure we have a budget that doesn't push our economy back down. we need an economy that pushes our economy back up. the american auto industry is thriving. american industry is booming. american ingenuity in the sector has the potential to change the way we do almost everything. and thanks to the determination of the american people, we have been able to clear away the
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rubble and we are poised for a progress the work isn't done and our focus cannot draft. we've got to stay focused on our economy and putting people back to work and raising wages and bringing manufacturing back to the united states of america. that has to be what we are thinking about every single day. [applause] middle class has been taking a beating for more than a decade. you deserve folks in washington that are willing to fight back on your behalf every single day common because every single day, you and americans like you all across the country are working hard and living up to your responsibilities to the nitze you have to have the same serious purpose in your leaders. now i see three areas where we need to focus if we are really going to keep the recovery going. but to get to new heights. we have to make america a magnet for good jobs. number two, we have to make sure
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that workers are able to get the education and skills that they need to do those jobs. number three, we've got to make sure that if and when you are working hard that leads to a different living. and that's why i wanted to come to baltimore because a lot of people here in baltimore or card. it's had hard times in the past but baltimore has come bounced back. [applause] i started a few hours ago and a prepaid program at moravia park elementary school their kids are getting a head start learning skills they need to know in the workplace. by the way this is a center that was named after steny hoyer is late wife judy because she and steny share i believe in giving
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every kid every chance as early as possible. i got to help with one. we were having to draw zoo animals and i have to say my tiger wasn't very good. the kids were not impressed. they said that doesn't look like a tiger. [laughter] but, they were amazed. later today i'm going to visit with a program that helps people that have gone through some tough circumstances. especially low income dad's. this program is now helping them to get the training and the guidance that they need to find work and support a family which is a priority, and probably some of these folks i am meeting didn't get that early childhood education that put them on the right track.
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what we want to do is first of all make sure that your kids are given the training that the need that if they miss out early on we still want to give them an opportunity on that back. the training of kids, giving them a good education, training all new workers that isn't going to make a difference if we don't have great companies that are hiring. and that's why i want to come ellicott. ellicott dredge, you are an example of what we can do to make america a magnet for good jobs. after all, you know a thing or two about growing a the economy. you have been doing it for more than a century. this company is founded in 1885. you have been right here since 1900. this company built equipment that helps build the panama canal.
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that's impressive. [applause] what that means is this company right here in baltimore literally helps create a were global economy. that is one of the first connectors that started to allow us to shift goods and cut the distances that integrated the world economy and yet after all this time this company still has a set of core values that's lasted for generations. just like the folks that came before you. you have the drive to make the best machines that money can buy to sell products all over the world to grow not just a business but a community. and by doing that you are growing the country. and these values have seen you through an era of the enormous change. your leaders saw the potential in developing markets like china, india and brazil and bangladesh. so you ramped up your focus on
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airports -- on exports, media reports, too. [laughter] but exports. and the federal government has worked with you come as a partner to sell dredging equipment right out of the shop all over the world. you maintain your quality. you've built a sales force that travels everywhere in the competition in search of new business. all of that hard work has paid off. today this company, you have sold equipment to lower than 100 different countries. you have made new investments here at home and employed more than 2 million people in baltimore and wisconsin and kansas in the past few decades on some of the tough times for the workers you were able to keep the building equipment stamped with those three proud words made in america, and you are selling at around the world. [applause]
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as steny hoyer and some of these house members say that means you are making it in america. see he gets excited. [laughter] you are actually making stuff here in america but also means we are all making it here in america. when you do what you are doing, and this is a great example. and the good news is more and more companies are following your example. after shedding jobs for ten years, our manufacturers have added more than 500,000 jobs over the past three years. ford is bringing jobs back from mexico. caterpillar is bringing jobs back from japan. [applause] after placing plants and other countries like china, intel, which is making the chips in your smartphone and ipad and all of these gizmos everybody is holding up, intel has the most
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advanced plant right here at home in america. washington should be helping these kinds of success stories take root all across the country. that's why we have boosted -- my administration boosted efforts to help businesses export more of their goods and services. that's why we sign trade agreements that will help protect american workers would open up more markets and support tens of thousands of good paying jobs. that's why we free authorized the export of the import bank to get and we are proud to have the chairman right here. he is here this afternoon. he is helping this company as we speak to sell more goods overseas. and so today exports are at an all-time high. we are selling more stock for around the world. we've added more than a million exports jobs since i took office. [applause]
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so all these steps are making a difference. but there is more we can do. we need to pursue trade agreements with europe and pacific regions. we need to invest in high-tech manufacturing sectors because i want the next revolution in manufacturing to be made right here in america. our workers are at our best when we are building stuff. so today i am also announcing the next step in our effort to cut through red tape that keeps big construction projects from getting off the ground. now, some of you if you've heard me i really big on us rebuilding our infrastructure in this country. i want to put people back to work improving our roads, bridges, our airports. [applause] we were talking about the panama canal. the panama canal is being revamped so they can accommodate even bigger ships.
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and these cargo ships are so big that if we don't remodel our ports here in the united states, they can't dock and we will lose that business to get so we have to of our game when it comes to infrastructure. the good news is when you do that you are putting people back to work right away, operating the dredging equipment and doing other stuff and you are laying the ground for future economic growth. the problem is we've had problems in congress going ahead and funding -- i know, it's surprising, isn't it? [laughter] we have had a little difficulty getting our republican friends to work with us to find a steady funding source for these projects that everybody knows needs to happen. but in fairness, one of the problems we have had in the past is that sometimes it takes too long to get projects off the
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ground. there are all these permits and red tape and planning and this and that and some it's important to do, but we could do it faster. so, a while back what i did was i ordered everybody who was involved in approving projects to speed up the permitting process for 50 different big projects all across the country. from the bridge of new york to the port of charleston in south carolina. and we've been able to, in some cases, cut approval times from seven years down to a year. [applause] so we have made progress. today i am directing agencies across the government to do what it takes to cut time lines for breaking ground on major infrastructure projects in half. and what that will mean is that construction workers get back on the jobs faster. it means more money going back into local economies.
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and it means more demand for outstanding dredging equipment that is made right here in baltimore. [applause] some of you know when of the guys that has been working on this is the deputy transportation secretary john pacarri. the former secretary in maryland before the governor generously agreed to share him with me and the entire country. so, those are some of the ways we can create the conditions for the business is like this one to generate even more good jobs. and these are the kind of ideas that we have to stay focused on every single day. this should be our principal focus. how are we making ourselves more competitive, how are we training our workers so they can do the jobs that need to be done? how can we make sure that we
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stay on the cutting edge in terms of technology? how are we making it easy for the businesses to succeed? and i am going to keep trying to work with both parties in washington to make progress. because our challenges are sol will pity i travel all around the world, and i meet people from all walks of life. and i can tell you there isn't a country on earth that wouldn't trade places with the united states of america. that is true. [applause] they know -- they know that we have got all of the ingredients to succeed. we've got the answers. the only thing holding us back sometimes is a lack of political will. sometimes our leadership isn't focused where we need to be focused. and that is where you come in it. it's up to you and all the people across the country to tell the people in washington to
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focus on getting stuff done. we may not agree on the way to do certain things, but i feel we all love our country. we all want what is best for our kids and grandkids. wouldn't we be better off if every american could find a good job that pays the bills and lets you afford a home and maybe take a vacation and put some money away to retire? wouldn't we all be better off if we knew all of our kids are getting a good education from their earliest stage if we reform our high schools for this new economy? if we are helping more young people for to go to college? wouldn't we be better off if every worker's wage was a wage that you could live on? nobody wants to be on welfare. nobody wants to have to have to rely on a handout. they want to work. let's make sure the work pays. wouldn't we be better off if every american could afford quality health care and the peace of mind that comes with it? that's why we pass health care
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reform. [applause] wouldn't we be better off if we did what is necessary to protect more children from the horrors of gun violence? [applause] there are going to be disagreements about how we get there. but let's remind ourselves that when we work together, nobody can stop us. when we do the right thing. that's what i believe. that's what i'm going to keep fighting for. that's what drives me. it's all the stories of people like you that i have the great honor of meeting and working with every single day. you deserve leaders with the same dedication and commitment and focus that the people that work in this country bring to their jobs every single day. and you look at those dredges of there and i met folks that worked here 38 years. some worked 40 years.
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the pride they take in their product and the way they all work together, that's the attitude that we have got to bring to bear. i think about a woman merna. there she is right here. merna has been here for more than 50 years. that means she started when there were no child labor laws because she is clearly illegal. they start putting her to work put a brake on in her hand but when somebody asked what lessons she learned after 50 years working in the same company she said to be honest, to be helpful and accept your mistakes and
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improve upon them, be good to people and keep a good sense of humor and have the best work ethic possible and to handle the good times and get over that. that is who we are. [applause] that's who we are. that pretty much sums up everything. that's who we like to understand america to be who we are as americans. we are honest and helpful and we work hard. we are good to others and we handle the good times and get over the bad times. we keep that in mind, if we all just keep her advice in mind, keep plugging away, keep fighting, we will build an even
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better america than we have now. we can pray, too. if we give every american the tools they need for those jobs and we make sure hard work pays off and the responsibilities or reworded, then once again america is indeed a place you can make it if you try and we will prosper and make sure that america remains the greatest nation on earth, god bless america. [applause] [cheering]
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♪ >> president obama at ellicott dredges in baltimore. the president met late in the day with defense secretary chuck hagel and the chairman of the joint chiefs general martin dempsey specifically yesterday about sexual assault in the military. the two will hold a news briefing coming up this afternoon at 2:30 eastern and we will have live coverage of that here on c-span2. earlier today on capitol hill, the house ways and means committee held a hearing looking at the irs targeting of certain political groups conservative
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political groups. we are going to show you that hearing in its entirety this evening at 8 p.m. here's part of the opening testimony. >> thanks for the opportunity to be here today. unfortunately given the time considerations, we have received the notice in the last two days. the irs was unable to prepare written testimony. i would note that a very brief statement before i take your questions. first and foremost as the acting commissioner i want to apologize on behalf of the internal revenue service for the mistakes that we made in the poor service that we provide it. the affected organizations and the american public deserves better. partisanship or even the perception of partisanship has no place at the irs. it cannot even appear to be a consideration in determining the tax exemption of an organization i do not believe that partisanship motivated the
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people who engage in practices described in the treasury inspector general's report. dalia reviewed the treasury inspector's report and i believe the conclusions are consistent with that. i think that what happened here is that foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selection. the listing described in the report, while intolerable, was a mistake and not an act of partisanship. the agency is moving forward. it has learned its lesson. we have previously worked to correct issues in the case described in the report coming and we have implemented changes to make sure that this type of thing never happens again. that it has completed its fact-finding and issued its report, management will take appropriate action with respect to those responsible. i would be happy to answer your questions. >> here's part of the testimony today from outgoing acting commissioner of the irs steve miller. we will show you the entire hearing starting at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span.
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so the question is why do we do it? why take the risks? is it for fund, adventure? no. is it for the money? there are easier ways of making a living than doing that. we do it to understand the world and how it changes. the world tends to move like the earth's plates. tensions build a come in and then suddenly they snap with violent political change. and we go where the cracks or to see how the plates are fitting together. we do this so the innocents have a voice and to show tv pundits the studio jockeys that they are usually wrong. we do it because we decided this is what we want to do with our slice of time on the planet.
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president obama's labor secretary nominee was approved out of committee yesterday along party lines with ten republicans voting against the nomination. the opposition stems from mr. perez position to abstain from a whistleblower case against st. paul minnesota in exchange for the municipalities dropping its supreme court housing discrimination case. the senate health education and labor and pensions committee now sends the nomination to the serday's
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vote. >> of the senate committee on health education, labor and pensions will come to order an executive session. today we are meeting at this time to consider the nomination of thomas perez to the secretary of labor. i will have an opening statement and i will yield to senator alexander, and then we will see if there is any further debate. our consideration of the nomination couldn't be more timely or important. as our country continues to move down the road to economic recovery now more than ever we need a strong department of labour to help strengthen the fragile recovery and build a stronger revitalized middle class. without question, thomas perez has the knowledge and experience to guide this and critically
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important agency. exceptional experience and as the work as the secretary maryland department of licensing and regulation, he's developed strong policy expertise about the many important issues for american workers and businesses that come before the department of labor everyday. he also has the management skills in many agencies effectively. perhaps most importantly, tom perez knows how to bring people together to make progress on evin controversy will issues without burning any bridges. he knows how to hit the ground running and quickly and effectively become an agent of change, and that is exactly the kind of leadership that we need at the department of labor. beyond these strong professional qualifications it is clear that tom perez's character makes him a strong choice to hold this important position. his dedicated his life to making sure that every american has a fair opportunity to pursue the american dream. as the assistant attorney general for civil rights of the
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department of justice he sought more americans achieve the dream of home ownership to the unprecedented efforts to prevent residential lending discrimination. he's helped ensure that people with disabilities have the choice to live in their own homes and communities rather than institutional settings and to receive the support and services to make this independent living possible. he has stepped up to the department's efforts to protect employment rights of service members so that our men and women in uniform can return to their jobs to support their families after serving the country. tom perez is passionate about these issues and about justice and about fairness. we need this kind of passion a vision at the helm of the department of labor. mr. perez has been as open and as he can possibly be with the committee. he's met with any number personally as requested a meeting. he appeared before the committee in a public hearing.
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he's answered more than 200 written questions. he bent over backward to respond to any concerns raised about his work at the department of justice. this administration has also been extraordinarily accommodating to my colleagues and especially to the concerns about his handling of the cases while at the department justice. the administration has produced thousands of documents and a range for the interview of government employees and the facilitate of almost unprecedented levels of disclosure to alleviate any concerns. as the chairman i also tried to be as accommodating as possible joining and requests for documents that i quite frankly thought were necessary and also postponing the executive session for two weeks at the request of our ranking member to provide conseration.tional time for
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.. aside, all of this lengthy consideration process is revealed is that mr. perez acted at all times ethically and appropriately to advance the interest of the united states government. outside ethics, experts have confirmed this. sword like a summit for the record letters and statements from several legal ethics experts confirming that mr. perez's handling of the magnet case was both ethical and
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appropriate of all my clothes on both sides of the aisle, after all this investigation at all the information that's been made public, can join us in supporting this important nomination. i will now turn to senator alexander for his opening remarks. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, thinks are holding this markup for mr. perez nomination of mr. perez. i will oppose voting mr. perez out of the health committee for two reasons. my review of his record has raised troubling questions about his actions while at the department of justice, and his iskander discussing these actions with this committee. and never to come congressicongressi onal committeecommittee s have asked for 11 and specific information that has not been provided yet by the nominee or the administration. to preserve a favorite legal theory could mr. perez orchestrate a quid pro quo arrangement between the department of justice and the city of st. paul in which the department agreed to drop two cases in exchange for the city withdrawing a case, the magner
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case. and external amount of reading and getting outside the normal responsibly of the assistant attorney general for civil rights. to obtain his desired result, mr. perez reached outside the civil rights division at justice, into the civil division, into the minnesota u.s. attorney's office, and into the department and into the department of housing and urban development. this exchange cost u.s. taxpayers the opportunity essentially to recover millions of dollars and more importantly violated trust whistleblowers place in the federal government. his testimony has been contradicted by testimony at other witnesses and contemporaneous doctrines. in short, it seems to me, ma mr. perez has not discharge the duty owed to the government to try to 20 '02 taxpayers. he did not discharge his duty to protect the whistleblower who was left hanging in the wind. at the same time he was manipulated the legal process to remove a case from the supreme
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court and a way that seems inappropriate for the assistant attorney general of the united states. mr. perez use the private e-mail accounts deleted nonpublic information is currently being investigated. senator byrd has made a request, you may want to talk about that. it involves e-mails sent from mr. perez personal e-mail account to a new times reported 15 minutes after a settlement was reached between the department of justice and countrywide concerning lending discrimination allegations. in my written questions to mr. perez following his confirmation hearing i asked him specific questions about whether he personally solicited support for his nomination from groups, from companies he might regulate if he were to be the secretary. he has yet to provide a direct answer to that simple question. this is a particularly concerning in light of the current abuse of power we are seeing in this administration of the same sort. on may 8, chairman issa and ranking member cummings,
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democratic ranking member cummings, sent a request to mr. perez to produce all of his personal enough regarding official department of justice business. on may 14 the department gave house oversight committee staff the opportunity to review the date, however, the text of e-mails was redacted. and the subject line. producing completely redacted e-mails can't be considered responsive. the department of justice inspector general recently published a detailed report to discuss problems and the voting rights section. talk about it publicly charged atmosphere and polarization. and mr. perez has administered that section since 2000. he talks about unauthorized disclosure of confidential information about the blatant commentary. it criticize the management of the department. i requested that the department of justice inspector general provide transcripts to specific
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portions of interviews between mr. perez and the inspector general, and we were provided with significantly redacted portions of those transcripts, so significant that i've asked for more clarification. i understand that elections have consequences. presidents are entitled to build up cabinet members nominated and considered by the senate within a reasonable period of time. however, the senate has a duty of advice and consent. we would not be fulfilling our constitutional duties if we rushed to vote on mr. perez. but the president knew when he appointed mr. perez that congress was investigating his involvement into brokering the quid pro quo deal in st. paul, minnesota. one other thing, in terms of whether there has been delayed, i would include in the record if i may, mr. chairman, an article from the "washington post" on march 18. it's about six or sewe that pre-
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the senate is moving more rapidly on president obama's second term nominees and confirmation than it did on the last three presidents. and according to the congressional research service it took an average of 55 days for bush's second term nominees, 68 days for clinton's, and 56 days for ronald reagan. mr. perez has been before the senate for 60 days since the announcement. that seems to me to be a reasonable time to ask that we consider the information that is, that we have asked for. and if i were to employ a personal standard, i could remember the case of a very well-qualified governor who was nominated to the united states secretary of education 21 years ago, and it took 87 days for this committee and the senate to consider his impressive qualifications to be secretary of education. so in light of what we do and all what we don't know yet i believe it is premature to
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report mr. perez nomination and for that reason i will be voting no. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman? >> senator mikulski. >> for just a point for two mins because i'm the only one here who actually -- on only one here who actually knows mr. perez, if i might. mr. chairman, and college, i really hope that we move the arrest nomination to the full senate and the full senate decide whether he has the qualifications necessary to head the department of labor during the time when our country is in tremendous economic transition. i have no mr. perez for a substantial amount of time. there are many marylanders who are often nominated through petition in this government, but i know tom as a king in the later here i know tom as a county councilman. as a leader of a state agency charged with actually running
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labor and licensing, and, of course, over at the justice department. i just want to say that we would have a fine nominee. first of all he has a compelling personal narrative. the second generation of immigrant family, he brings all of those wonderful values. he believes in america, and he actually believes in america's promise, and the department of labor would be part of the opportunity ladder that would help people be middle-class who would rather stay there or do better. second, it's not what barbara mikulski said about how he stood up to predatory lenders, how he functioned in terms of ensuring all that fair labor practices. i would just like to conclude my remarks by the maryland chamber of commerce. maryland chamber of commerce is a typical maryland chamber of commerce. they are absolutely 100% chamber of commerce, and they said this, mr. perez proved himself to be a
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pragmatic public official who was willing to bring different voices together. the maryland team had the opportunity work with mr. perez on an array of issues of importance to employers in the business kennedy in maryland. from unemployment to housing foreclosure pricing, crisis, regulation of financial institutions, workers safety, and professional licensing. despite differences of opinion, mr. perez was always willing to allow all parties to be heard and found him to be fair and collaborative. we, the chamber to believe that our experience with him in maryland would bode well for the nation. i hope we move to nomination forward. >> further debate? >> if i can recognize and i can counsel in the outcome of this election, but i feel compelled to just note for my colleagues that when mr. perez was here,
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for his confirmation hearing, i probed issues of questions that dealt with the disclosure of nonpublic information. a disclosure that i thought was rather significant because it potentially could move markets. and as the ranking of the second it dealt with the decision on a company by the name of countrywide. a decision that came through late one night, 10:45 p.m. and exchange on a private e-mail with a "new york times" reporter at 11 p.m., 15 minutes after the decision, and a day before any public disclosure by the justice department. now, in many cases i would walk away and form a conclusion from that, but i didn't stop there. i sent a letter to the public affairs department at the department of justice.
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and let me just recap partially what i said in the letter. during a recent senate hearing, assistant attorney general thomas perez was question regarding the use of personally enough to disclose nonpublic information. the e-mail in question read and i quote, just close deal 50 minutes ago. will announce tomorrow at 3:00, unquote. mr. perez stated, i don't, and ago, i don't believe that that was nonpublic information, media advisers often got the day before. so i ask the office of public affairs to provide a copy of the press release statement announcing the countrywide's of the deal included information of the date and time of its release. information on any public or private disclosures to press prior to the official countrywide settlement announcement, including the substance of time and date of that contact. the detailed description and timeline of the office of public affairs participation in bold
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and the countrywide settlement announcement before, during, and after the settlement. furthermore, was the office of public affairs aware that mr. perez disclose the outcome to "the new york times" or other media? my last paragraph said this, finally as a general matter please inform office asked whether not this is a common practice for the department of justice decisions are communicated through personal opinions or other back channel processes before unofficial announcement. it is indeed common practice -- is indeed common practice as insinuated by mr. perez in his hearing? i would like to ask the office of public affairs to describe three other instances where this is happening at the department of justice. mr. chairman, that was in the week following his confirmation. as of today i have not gotten a response from the office of public affairs. so there are legitimate things that are still out there. i personally don't believe
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disclosing nonpublic information to a "new york times" reporter 15 minutes after a decision has been made at 11:00 at night is one, ethical, or appropriate. therefore, today i will vote against this nomination. and hope that my colleagues will understand the seriousness of any disclosure of nonpublic information that might have an effect on moving the equity markets like this could. i thank the chair. >> i think the third. i am -- restring to respond. as we look at this, and my staff looked at it and went through it, we found this. that affect the department of justice office of public affairs had already provided notice to reporters. that an announcement regarding the countrywide investigation would occur the following day. something routine with respect
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to high profile cases. and when mr. perez responded to a reporter's inquiry, he merely confirmed what the office of public affairs have been telling the press, that a prescott ed whitacre the next day, not providing any sensitive information. so let's get this clue. there's a time, on december 20 the office of public affairs alerted reporters to the upcoming announcement for scheduling purposes. news of the likely summit had appeared in articles a day of the 20th. that day, bloomberg released a story headline, bank of america sits close to settling probe into countryside. and stating that quote a deal between bank of america and the department of justice to be announced as early as this week. the story said the parties were actively negotiations on on the verge of settling the claim. the department of justice declined to comment for that story. that night, december 20, a "new york times" reporter e-mailed
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mr. perez about the likely settlement. because mr. perez understood that the office of public affairs had begun to inform reporters that announcement would be made next day in indocin at 11:13 p.m., mr. perez respond that idg press officer quote, was supposed to call, but reportedly in the day, and confirmed that in an announcement would occur. mr. perez did not provide or communicate to the reporter any substantive information about the content of the settlement or any other details. "the new york times" reporter did not publish a news article about the matter prior to the press conference regarding the settlement. at 10:23 a.m. on december 21, 2011, bank of america notified the national kinard advisory council that a settlement for more than $300 million would be announced, making public the amount of the tement apresadvis.
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those are the facts. is there further debate on this nomination? if there is no further debate on the nomination, then all those in favor of reporting this nomination in favor will say aye -- >> can have a roll call vote? >> a roll call vote has been requested. the clerk will please call the roll. [roll call]
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[roll call] >> how about the chairman? do i get a vote? [laughter] >> now we have 12 ayes. [laughter] >> say it again. they're being 12 ayes against 10 nays, the nomination of thomas perez to be second of labor is reported favor what to this committee and to the floor of the senate. so the question is, why do we do
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it? why take the risks? is it for fun or adventure? no is it for the money? th easy ways of making a living and doing this. we do it to understand the world and how it changes. the world tends to move like the earth's plate, tensions built and then suddenly they snap with a violent political change. and we go to where the cracks are to see how the plates are fitting together. we do this so innocents have a voice. we do additional tv pundits, those studio jockeys that they're usually wrong. we do it because we have decided this is what we want to do with our slice of time on this planet. >> this weekend on c-span, richard engel from the museums during the memorial rededication. saturday at 8:35 p.m. eastern followed at 9:10 p.m. also this weekend on c-span2's
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booktv, former clinton special counsel danny davis on handling scandals of all kinds. saturday at seven followed by a crisis book party. on three span -- oral history, former president gerald ford remembers dwight eisenhower from his perspective as a young michigan congressman. sunday at three. ♪ bennett spent how do you feel about this in 30 seconds because i'm going to make an attempt to imagine that you had a yardstick, cut into pieces and to go from something this big to that day. take there anything and cad in pieces, you go from yardstick to the size of my thing to do but if you've process 10 times you get to the size of the adam. suppose you did that 35 times. what is left? we have no instance does you that some people like me have been working on a piece of mathematics called string
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theory, super string theory to answer that question. we think there are filaments there. i tried. >> my wife has often asked by people find out i'm a physicist, what does your husband actually do? her answer is she makes up stuff for letting. that's right with what i prefer it to tell my story is the following the most people know what novels do. a novelist takes words and makes characters and tells stories. a theoretical physicist does the same thing except we use mathematics to tell our stories and then if we are really good at what we do our stories is correspond to something happens in nature. so that little clip that you saw a few moments ago was my attempt to sort of oil down to a very 30-second soundbite mode describing what it is the i and people in my community do to try to understand the world spent more with national medal of science recipients s. james gates, jr., sunday at eight on c-span's q&a.
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>> here on c-span2 we are live at the defense department briefing room at the pentagon waiting to hear from defense secretary chuck hagel and the chairman of the joint chiefs, general martin dempsey. and his conference coming up at 2:30 p.m. eastern. we will have live coverage but it is likely they will get questions about the issue of sexual assault in the military. yesterday, the secretary and general dempsey informed president obama of the latest sexual assault allegations against a soldier was assigned to her that such crimes. we will show you that meeting from, part of that meeting yesterday at the white house as we wait for the news conference at the pentagon. >> i appreciate all of you coming in just for a second. we have gathered here all the top people and not just our military but our entire national security operation. and i want to start off by thanking all the people sitting around this table and in this room for the extraordinary service that they've rendered
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this country. and i want to also remind everybody that we have folks tiheater right now, men and women in uniform, who are making heroic sacrifices on lf oha our security. and our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families because they are dealing with a whole lot to make sure that we are safe. we have focused this conversation, though, on something that is at the core of our effectiveness as a military. i told all these people that one of the great honors of my life is serving as commander-in-chief to what i consider to be the best military in the history of the world. and i am in awe of the work that the vast majority of our men and women in uniform do. but the reason we are so good is not because of the fancy
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equipment. it's not because of our incredible weapon systems and technology. it's because of our people. and the capacity for our men and women in uniform to work as a team, a disciplined unit looking out for each other in the most severe of circumstances, is premised, as ray odierno said, on trust. it comes down to do people trust each other and do they understand that they're all part of a single system that has to operate under whatever circumstances effectively. the issue of sexual assault in our armed forces undermines that trust. so not only is it a crime, not only is it shameful and disgraceful, but it also is going to make and has made the military less effective than it can be.
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and as such, it is dangerous to our national security. so this is not a sideshow. this is not sort of a second-order problem that we're experiencing. this goes to the heart and the core of who we are and how effective we're going to be. now, the good news is i am absolutely confident that everybody in this room and our leadership, starting with chuck hagel and marty dempsey and the joint chiefs, as well as our top enlisted men and women, they care about this. and they're angry about it. and i heard directly from all of them that they're ashamed by some of what's happened. but it's not fixed yet, and that's clear. so even though i think there's a level of concern and interest that is appropriate, we haven't actually been able to ensure
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that our men and women in uniform are not experiencing this, and if they do experience it, that there's serious accountability. so what i' dve asked secretary of defense hagel and marty dempsey to help lead a process to continue to get at this. that starts with accountability, and that means at every level. and that includes accountability not just for enforcing the law, but also training our personnel effectively, putting our best people on this challenge. i think secretary of the army mchugh made a very good point, which is i'm not sure we've incentivized some of our top people to understand this is as core to our mission as anything else. and we've got to reward them, not think of this as a sideline for anything else that they do, but incentivize ambitious folks in the ranks to make sure that
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they understand this is important. so that's part of accountability. empowering victims. we've got to create an environment in which victims feel that they're comfortable coming forward and they know people have their backs, and that they will work through this process in a way that keeps the focus on justice and make right what's been wrong as opposed to suddenly they're on trial, it may weaken their position, it may compromise their ability to advance. that's going to be important. they've got to know that they should have no fear of retaliation, no fear of stigma, no damage to their careers, and certainly no protection for criminals. third thing is justice for the victims. when victims do come forward, they deserve justice. perpetrators have to experience consequences. and i'm pleased that secretary
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hagel has proposed reforms that would restrict the ability of commanders to overturn convictions after trial. those reforms have my full support. there are a range of ideas that are being proposed on capitol hill, and i know that chuck and marty are both engaged with those members of congress. but what i've said to them is i want to leave no stone unturned and i want us to explore every good idea that's out there in order to fix this problem. and i'm pleased to say that secretary hagel is not only consulting with congress but is also looking at militaries around the world, the canadians or the israelis or others, that may have design systems that get at this to see if there are any lessons learned in terms of best practices.anvice president bideo has been a champion for issues,
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around issues of domestic violence for 20 years or more, he made an important point, which is that we've got to make and sure that advocates and professionals who are in the civilian system and have been working on this problem for a long time, that we're listening to them as well, that we don't assume that the military has to completely recreate the wheel. and i think that's a very important point. so i want to thank all the work that congress is doing, especially our friends in the senate. all of us here are committed to working with them. the last point i'm going to make, and that is that there is no silver bullet to solving this problem. this is going to require a sustained effort over a long period of time. and that's why i'm very pleased to know that secretary hagel is going to be having weekly meetings on this. and i want us to make sure that
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we've got effective metrics and feedback loops, so that we are continually evaluating how well we're doing. and one point that was made around the table is that a sign that we're actually getting at this problem may initially be increased reporting rather than in less reporting. we may see more reporting of incidents, in part because even outside of our military, traditionally, these problems of sexual assault are vastly underreported. and so over the next several months and years, if i start him and and then -- seeing data that shows that in fact we are seeing more reports, that may actually indicate to me that people are becoming more confident about moving forward. on the other hand, i then want those trend lines to start going
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down because that indicates that we're also starting to fix the problem and we've highlighted it, and people who are engaged in despicable behavior, they get fully punished for it. so, again, i want to emphasize, everybody in this room has heard from me directly. they've heard from secretary hagel, and they've heard from marty dempsey. they all understand this is a priority and we will not stop until we've seen this scourge, from what is the greatest military in the world, eliminated. thank you very much, everybody. >> president obama along with treasury secretary -- the defense secretary chuck hagel and the chairman of the joint chiefs, general martin dempsey from yesterday. errancy spent the we are live at
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the pentagon now. reporters waiting to hear from the chairman and from secretary hagel. that news coverage to get underway shortly. [inaudible conversations] >> [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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than [inaudibl[inaudible conver]
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>> and waiting to hear from defense secretary chuck hagel and the chairman of the joint chiefs of general martin dempsey, their news coverage should get underway shortly. we will have all of it live once it does start. we will anytime show you a conversation from this morning's washington to look at yesterday's vote in hous in then repealing the 2010 health care law. joining us now, a democrat from california. she serves the 24th district. hello. >> host: nice to meet you.
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>> the approval care act, about the affordable care act itself. >> guest: the health care is working now. this new law is in place. that's happening. but in the meantime the leadership in the house of representatives is stuck on whether they approve it or not. innocent people are taking the parts that work for them and moving it forward. >> as far as the effort itself? >> it's the 37th repeal as the speaker said, the speakers were talking about that it's going to die innocent as the other previous ones have. >> host: how would you grade the administered effort on educating the public on the affordable care act? >> guest: i hope we're making progress. i worked very hard for a year on one of the committees to get this out of the committee and onto the floor for a vote. and that was a very good year
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because we produced a product. what we didn't do was to have a format in it for providing education for the american people. so then this gap of time where people have not, they watch the contentious debate. they saw what was coming out of it and they didn't realize how it impacted their life but a lot of people still don't. >> host: with that a condition of congress itself, was that the white house, was it together? >> guest: there's blame to go around. >> good afternoon. thank you for coming. i'm sorry we had to move this one day, but nonetheless, it's been a slow news week for you and i know you've been looking for something to do and to report on. let me begin by making an announcement regarding a nomination that the president is
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going to make. and that is a change of command for our forces in korea. general is going to be nominated by the president to replace general thurman. in korea. and we're very proud of that announcement. i know the president is. and general dempsey may want to address that in a little more detail since he has worked very closely with the general. we will have more to say about the announcement as we go on, and as the president makes his formal nomination. but let me just note a couple of things about general jay determined. he has done a tremendous -- j.d. thurman, for our country, for our forces, that region.
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he has credibility, confidence that people have in him everywhere. is really pretty special. he's been there, as you all know, a very uncertain time, and his study why do leadership actually counted. so i wanted to note that it and assisted will have more to say about both those generals at the appropriate time. yesterday, as you all know, i participated in a meeting with the prime minister of turkey, with vice president, secretary kerry and others. long meeting, very productive meeting, good meeting, if you want to talk about any of that, the lack to respond to any of the questions you have. this morning general dempsey and i hosted the turkish minister of defense and foreign minister for about an hour and a half. we talked about many, certainly
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the regional issues and follow up on a number of points that were made in that meeting with the turkish prime minister and president obama yesterday. and would be glad to respond to any of those questions. >> this afternoon after this news conference i will host the french minister of defense, and we will spend a considerable amount of time talking about different mutual interests in nato, and certainly what we're doing together in a number of areas. so if you want to pursue any of that i would be glad to respond. before i ask general dempsey force comments and we take your questions, just a couple of updates on the sexual assault issue. you all know that general dempsey and i met with the president and the vice president yesterday as well as our senior
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enlisted and officer leadership in the u.s. military. i thought it was a very important, productive meeting. it was important because it gave the president an opportunity to ask questions directly, and get the sense of this huge problem, serious problem in our military. ask questions of the military leadership. in the military leaders in that room answered and responded, at the presidents invitation, and gave i thought very honest evaluations of what they thought about the issue, including articulated what we're all going to do, and are doing, to address
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it. it was also important for our leadership, our military leadership, to hear from the president on this. the president was very constructive. he was very clear. there wasn't anybody in that room who wasn'tdisappointed. and embarrassed, didn't recognize that we in many ways failed. but we all have committed to turn this around, and we are going to fix the problem. as the president said in his comments after that meeting, there's no silver bullet. this is going to take all of us here the problem will be solved here, in this institution, and we will, we will fix it and we will do everything we need to do to fix it.
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there's not a military leader within that room was not completely committed to that. these are men, and women come in our services who deliver their lives to this institution and to the men and women who serve this country. so no one understands the depth of this more, or more concerned, or more committed to fixing it then those people in that room with the president. and i will be glad to respond to any particular questions on that. this morning, i had to first meeting with the congressional mandated sexual review panel that was mandated in the fy 2013 national defense authorization act, which i think you are generally for me with. i noted a few days ago that i have selected the final five panelists. ine pne review board,
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for selected by the congress, five selected by me. we had about an hour long telephonic meeting this morning to go over what the expectations were, what the president's expectations were, what my expectations are, what the congress is expectations are. and i think you've all seen the membership, they are all highly respected, highly regarded, experienced men and women who understand cultures, society, command. and i think it's an exceptionally well-balanced group of men and women who we love to to help us -- who we look to to help us. and they are charged with reviewing everything we'r we are doing. and then coming up with recommendations to the congress and to me, and to our military leadership, on what we need to do to fix it, how can we fix it. and they will have the first meeting physically and panels most likely to be in this building next month.
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we are putting that together. so if you want to get into any of that here in a minute i will be glad to. also i wanted to note that this afternoon after the meeting with the french minister of defense i will hold my first weekly review, progress meeting on the sexual assault directives that i started about a month and a half ago. it's not good enough to say we have a zero-tolerance policy. we do, but what does that mean? how does that translate into changing anything? and i want to know, and i will get weekly briefs, they will be on my schedule, in my office. i will chair the meeting. what are we doing? what did we do? how do we continue to break through this? it's just not good enough for people to walk out of my office and say, well, we are doing it. ..
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we've got time frames on this. you will be given the directives here after the conference, so you will see exactly what i said but that was signed off on today. there will be more action. you know a number of the things
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i've done, that we've done and i would ask the general dempsey for his comments. this wasn't done just independent of everybody else. i've spent a tremendous amount of time with the chief secretaries. chairman dempsey has lead on this. this problem can't be fixed. i can direct it and hold people accountable. the president has held me accountable for it and there isn't one of those people in leadership today that wants this to be there legacy. it is as big a priority as i have for obvious reasons. our structure is of course the core of who we are. no matter how many technologies we employee and how much of the quality of our and the weaponry
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gives an edge and it does. it has to be at the center of the focus of the leadership and our priorities. but we asked general dempsey for his comments. >> thank you mr. secretary. i can think of no finer answer to be promoted. scott is a competent leader with the character to match and like the current commander he is well-suited to sustain our alliance with the republic of korea. he has delivered throughout his career and whether as the deputy commander of u.s. forces in afghanistan and most recently and currently as the director of the joint staff. as my director he has helped advanced might release to include the urgent work to
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eliminate sexual harassment and sexual assault from the ranks. as i said before, the risks inherent to military service must not include the risk of sexual assault. it is a crime that demands accountability and consequences. as you know the joint chiefs have spent the better part of the last year implementing a campaign focused on prevention investigation accountability advocacy and assessment. secretaries hagel will strengthen those efforts. the prevention is especially important as the president made clear yesterday we can and must do more to change the culture that has become too complacent. we must recommit ourselves to profession and for character to be valued as much if not more than companies. now was the time for moral courage at every level and there can be no by standards.
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i remember when the racial issues and drug abuse tour of the fabric of the service of the army was broken. with more leadership we changed the course and start to leave greece or trust in the ranks and among between us and the american people. it is not broken and it is remarkably resilient, something i spoke to last week when i was presenting the commencement at arizona state university. aggressive sexual behavior that represents the bond of trust that binds us together. we need and must change course. every single member of the joint force in every unit at every level must be alert to the problem and be part of the solution. working together we can and will restore faith in ourselves and the trust and faith of the american people. thank you.
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the president said yesterday after the meeting that there is no silver bullet protecting this but what is? also do you think that alcohol use and/or abuse is part of this equation and their needs to be more attention to that? >> you were quoted the other day saying that there's a connection between this problem of winding down as to suggest that this problem would wind down with it. regarding the use of alcohol, yes. alcohol and does play a very big factor in the sexual assault. not in every case, but in many cases. and i don't have all of the demographics on this that there
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is no question that it does. that is a part of this. that is the larger context of why this is happening. to your bigger question, what are the best bullets, well as the president said yesterday in light said certainly our leadership both enlisted in the office core level has said this is a new verdict and this is an accountability issue. are we going far enough up and down the chain of command? there are so many dimensions i don't think you can come at this in one simple way. i get a lot of advice on this. why don't you just fire some
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people? we could do that. the people who have been charged, as you all know, they are moved out of their responsibilities until they have to process. where we can find people who've actually perpetrated and prosecute. there is no simple way to come at this. and so, you have to come at i think from the entire framework of starting with why is this happening? i try to understand that. there are a lot of dimensions to that. then you get into the reporting process. when you look at those numbers that are essentially striking, and i suspect they will continue to rise on the reporting come as
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the vice president biden reminded us yesterday, there is a glimmer of hope. there is no good news in this there's a glimmer of hope because in many cases, we are going back and trying to understand this better and asking a lot of questions, at least it is being dealt out there and developed that when people come forward and report something that they have some assurances, first of all the victim will be treated fairly. then you have the victim's rights. the protections of those victims if they expect that before they come forward will they be treated fairly that as part of it. the new look at the prosecutorial side and the penalty side, you look at all those pieces and you can't just
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take one or two or three and six just one or two. it's everything. that's why the panel, the outside independent review panel is so important because as you all know, i think the last chart i got this morning there were ten pieces of legislation in the house and the senate that change components of all this reporting and the structure and who is accountable and some of its even taking it out of the military command structure. and we are going to have to do something. we will do something. but whenever we do we want to make sure that it's right because there are consequences to whatever we do. and that is why the panel is so important. it was congressionally mandated, and we need to see what they come up with and we are listening to everybody. we talk with other militaries by the way around the world. i told them that we were talking
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to different military is around the world. how are they dealing with this and what kind of command structure have they changed and what works? so i think it is all of those things. it isn't just one of three things. >> it is actually a continuum of the challenges. we have a space of about 18 months in the military academy scandal. and then i think we went to the war and some of that was masked we ask is there an effective ten years of war instinctively we do come and we have been looking out what that might be. we might argue that we become too forgiving because if the perpetrator shows up with a purple heart there is certainly the risk that we might be forgiving and that crime so we are looking for the game
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changers. some of these congressional proposals could be a game changers. as we continue to look at the proposals that we understand how they fit together and more importantly how what are the second and third order effects because in our system we give aid commander life-and-death decision making authority. i cannot imagine going forward to solve this issue without the commanders involved. >> if you listen to the women in the military that say the best thing that you can do to change this is to take this out of the commanders hands and put it into the civilian court they are afraid to talk to the commanders said they know the men that are assaulting them. are you considering all changing that and where do you stand on that move? and then i do have another question on syria.
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we have learned that they are being provided with cruise ship missiles and the russians are putting a dozen or so. do you consider this a provocative act designed to push the u.s. involvement in syria? >> i will start on the first question. we are looking at everything. and we are listening to victims carefully, closely. and i address this in my first answer to the question about the rights of the victims and what goes through their mind before they come forward. are they afraid? obviously, yes, yes, yes on those questions. that's what i said and that sort of come down. as to the questions, just a
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couple of general responses. one of the primary reasons as the secretary went to moscow to meet with president putin and mr. lavrov was to talk about all of these issues and to try to find some common ground that the russians and the u.s. can come to. some intersection of interest because we all have interest in the middle east. what is happening is this is very, very dangerous. and what we don't want to see happen, the russians don't want to see happen is for syria to erupt to the point that we may find a regional war. so we continue to work with the russians on their interest, and
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everything that we can do to convince the powers in the region to be careful with the escalation on military options and equipment will continue to work through that. so this is complicated, and i think that i would read my answer that way. >> it is at the very least an unfortunate decision that will embolden the regime. it is ill tiny and very unfortunate. they've made clear they will keep delivering missiles in
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accordance with what they've made years ago. how does that change particularly on the air defense system? how does that change your thinking on borrowing? how does that complicate your planning for all of the military contingencies? we plan for every contingency as you know. general dempsey said the escalation of weaponry in the middle east is dangerous and working with our partners in that area as well as in other countries to make sure that whatever influence we have that data doesn't continue.
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general dempsey made it very clear that on the specific area of the missiles and what ever else is involved with the russians doesn't help. it makes it more dangerous. and to summarize my thoughts on this, we continue to keep every option open as the president has said. we are already doing a lot in syria on the humanitarian side. we are continuing to try to bring some consensus with all the different countries involved, the gcc countries and others. a lot of the conversation with the prime minister yesterday and this morning and their entire delegation was about this issue. and to ds the late to find some
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common ground to ensure that syria does not disintegrate and the middle east are brought into a regional war, we continue to keep every option open and what further action we may take also working with the other players. >> on the missile capability and the s8300 system there are more cable systems in the estate 300, higher altitude, longer tracking capabilities, it pushes the standoff distance a little more increases risk but not impossible to overcome. what i worry about is since he has the systems he is somehow saver and more prone in the miscalculation so again an unfortunate decision.
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>> from al jazeera in english television. since the hunger strike began in guantanamo and currently making this protest i wondered can you fill us in on what the department has done in the extent to try to address some of the concerns? what is being done on this strike? >> first of all we have a responsibility, and ethical responsibility. certainly we are doing everything we can to do that. as you know, the president noted a couple weeks ago that he is going to come back and he is in the process to find some resolution will.
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our role, the military role is being handled with as much responsibility has to be shut and need to with our detainee's. alaska the general if he has any other thoughts. we are doing everything that we can to protect those detainee is and we do need a resolution to this. the president has said that and he is working fourth. >> the united states military guards guantanamo and the responsibility is clear. the wellbeing of the safety of both them and the guards on the policy decisions. looking at the various congressional proposals on
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sexual assault just to follow up do you at this point support senator jon rand sexual assault and battery cases and put them in the hands of a prosecutor opposed to the gin of command and think about the new proposals by senator blumenthal about creating a victim's compensation fund to encourage people to come forward. >> i have spoken to the senator is a number of times and as many of our leaders have, their proposals. we are working with the staff of the of the proposals that we are talking to come all of the members of congress but in the house and in the senate. i have had two more conversations this afternoon on their proposals. accommodating house and senate members and working with them on what we think is workable,
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giving them our best assessment, and they are giving us the opportunity. we are not taking any position on any bill, this is not our favorite bill. we are looking for components of all of the legislation that we think makes sense. but i also would say that going back to what i noted earlier about the congressional the mandated panel i would hope that we would have some time here to listen to what the panel comes back with. to give some time and to really assess the problem why do we have the problem, how can we prevent the problem? what should we be doing better?
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it may well end up on those recommendations exactly the same way that they have proposed on there will. so we are working with all of them. >> i've actually received a letter from the senator in the armed services committee asking them to provide military advice on the specifics of those bills. i will communicate with them before i communicate with you. >> you talked about the accountability. but this has been going on for military women for some time. what is your philosophy and decision making about the accountability? when can you hold someone accountable and with respect to both of you, the joint chiefs as an organization they are in charge of training and know the
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problem has been going on for many years now. when do you told somebody accountable on the senior level as you would if there was a major accident in life if it were racism. given your board does it stop if they have to be forgetting the s 300. you know to this specifically focused on the accountability and you are exactly right. if you don't have accountability, you don't have
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much. our government was found on the belief. what we are looking at is in every way many of the directives that i've given a month and have a door focused if not every one of them on some element of accountability in every chain of command. the division commander is in charge of that command. that connection has to work all the way up and down lines. we are looking at how we can do that better and it is one of the reasons we are going back and we are recertified and everybody that i talked about earlier that was formerly given today and announced a couple of days ago. it's to go back into that chain of command. the president talked about it. it is an essential component that somehow has been lacking or
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broken down. but it is essential part of how we fix the problem. >> it is on the issue of sexual assault against military women and men. it is to acknowledge the accountability. what do you do about this? >> i responded in the general sense of the question of accountability. the accountability of any institution especially the discipline of the military and general dempsey that has devoted 39 years of his life to this far better than i do if any component of that breaks down, it is lacking anywhere, there's going to be a problem. ofe ere is accountability in the military or they wouldn't have a
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military. the chairman couldn't make decisions and combatant commanders couldn't give orders and there wasn't accountability for the command thinking things wouldn't happen. of course there is accountability. i was referring to the specific area of what is broken down on sexual assault starting with reporting. and then the follow-through of that. of course that is the key part of anything to get to the resolution how do you fix it starting with some of the questions about the victim's saying and rightfully so they didn't feel the commander was accountable enough to be able to come forward and register a complaint, filed a complaint because they thought they would be subject to many things which is true and which has happened, but then also having no confidence that anything would
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be done about the complete so that is what i was referring to in that needs to be addressed as well as all of the components first they don't have the weapons systems, they don't have control of them. there are several capabilities that syria has not used that potentially has not used responsibly, chemicals, long-range rockets and missiles and the defense. so the things that are in control we have options to deal with that. we do have options in any way to prevent the delivery of them. i didn't say we couldn't come i said we didn't have options to prevent the delivery of any military sales to the syrians.
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>> can you update us on you managed any change of thinking of providing any lethal weapons to those and then also general dempsey, can you clarify -- earlier you were talking about the question on the war and then the impact that may have on sexual assault. and you said the military may have become a little too forgiving. have you seen specific instances of that happening? and you have a lot more clarity on the individual cases. are we seeing that? >> you know, you never -- you don't know what panel deliberates. you are not afforded the opportunity. but what i am suggesting is that after ten years of war there is the potential that we should examine whether we have become a
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little too forgiving not just of sexual harassment, sexual assault but other forms of misconduct as well. succumb if you are -- what you are hearing the express is the commitment to try to get a deeper understanding of what we are dealing with and the instinct that suggests that though war might be a factor. >> on your question, the answer is we continue to look at every option. and we will. we have to. every option is on the table.
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the irs views inappropriate criteria to target and review team party and other organizations based on their name and policy provisions. this practice started in 2010 and continued to evolve until june of 2011. as this shows the irs was following inappropriate criteria. let me read to you the criteria from a briefing held by the irs
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xm organizations function of june of 2011. the criteria included the word tea party patriot or the 912 project. another looked at criterium is that the group's issues included a government spending, government debt or taxes. another list appeared by advocacy or lobbying to, quote, make america a better place to live, end of quote. finally, it consisted of any statement in the case file criticizing how the country is being run. the reason for these criteria were inappropriate is that they did not focus on the tax-exempt wall and treasury regulations. for example, 501c3 organizations will not engage in political campaign interventions. the 501c4 organizations khan, but it must not be their primary activity.
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political campaign intervention is action taken on behalf of a candidate running for office. although these criteria appeared in the irs documentation as june 2011, the irs employees began selecting the tea party and other organizations for the review in early 2010. in may of 2010 through may of 2012, the team of irs specialists in cincinnati ohio referred to the determinations' unit, selecting to wondered 98 cases for additional scrutiny. according to our findings, the first time that executives from washington, d.c. became aware of the use of these criteria was june, 2011, with some executives not becoming aware of the criteria until april or may of 2012. the irs inappropriate criteria remained for approximately 18 months later after learning of the inappropriate criteria, the director of the wixom organizations change the
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criteria in july of 2011 to remove the references to organizations names and policy provisions. however, since the staff changed the criteria back to target organizations with specific policy positions, that this time they did not include the tea party or other naim organizations. finally in may of 2012 after learning that the criteria had again been changed, the executive, the organization's director of the rulings and agreements changed the criteria to be consistent with the large regulations. again, to under 98 and all experience a substantial delays and the processing of their applications. the organization's experiencing these delays included tea party organizations, patriot nizations, loranne/12 organizations among other organizations to limit as shown on the monitor the status of the
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september 2012 for the to enter the 96 cases that we revealed was the 108 cases had been approved, 28 cases were withdrawn, and 160 cases were still open. zero of the cases have been denied. of the cases that were still open, had been in progress for over three years and crossed to the election cycles without resolution. of the 108 cases approved, 31 or t party and the naim/12 patriot organization. >> so the question is why do we dewitt? why take the risk? is it for fun, adventure? no it is it for the money? there are easier ways of making a living of and by doing that. we do it to understand the world. and how it changes. the world tends to move like the earth's plates. the tension builds and then suddenly they snap with violent
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political change and we go to where the cracks are to see how this place is putting together. we do this so the innocents have a voice and show tv pundits the studio jockeys that they are usually wrong. we do it because we decided that this is what we want to do with our slice of time on this planet.
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yesterday the senate labor committee heard testimony from the national labor relations board. an independent agency that enforces employees and employers rights. three of the five nominees were appointed last year to the board by president obama through recess appointments. in january, the d.c. federal appeals court ruled those appointments were unconstitutional. although the administration has appealed the decision to the u.s. supreme court. this hearing is just under two hours. >> the committee on health education and labor pensions will please come to order. the hearing this morning is on the nominations for the national labor relations board paid over 75 years ago, congress enacted the national labor relations act guaranteeing american workers the right to form and join a union and bargain for a better life per both union and nonunion workers alike the act provides essential protections and gives workers a voice and the ability
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to join together and speak up for fair wages and good benefits and safe working conditions. these rights are one of the pillars of the middle class for the people that do the work in the country to see the benefits when the economy grows. the national labor relations board as a guardian of these fundamental rights. few people understand or realize that the workers themselves cannot enforce the national labor relations act. the board is the only place workers can go if they have been treated unfairly and denied the basic protection still law provides. thus the board plays a critical role vindicating workers' rights. in the past ten years, the nlrb has secured opportunities of reinstatement for 22,544 employees who were unfairly fired. it's also recovered more than $1 billion on behalf of the workers whose rights were violated. the board is just as essential for the nation's employers.
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if an employer for example is the victim of a wildcat strike or is in negotiations with the union and can't get them to bargain and good faith, it is the only recourse. the nlrb has helped numerous businesses resolve disputes efficiently. because the agency is absolutely critical to the economy and the country and the middle class, it's deeply disappointing to see what happened in the recent years including the relentless political attacks by the dedicated public servants that work on the board. to put it plain there are many officials that are actively trying to shut down the nlrb. in 2011, when in the agency needed new board members to satisfy the were requirements, instead of working together to confirm the package of nominees, some senators announced their intention to block any nomination to the nlrb and in a
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well-publicized statement one of my colleagues on the other side of the dial said he would filibuster even if it caused the ceased functioning altogether and he said, quote, the nlrb as inoperable could be considered progress. it did not used to be this way. we used to understand and acknowledge members of the board had different views and a theological perspectives but all of us agreed the board itself should function for the good of the country and the economy. in the recent years that shared understanding has broken down. the board hasn't had five senate confirmed members in a decade. in my view that speaks more perhaps to our dysfunction here in the senate than anything the board itself has done. what most concerns me is how the political game is impacting the everyday lives of working people across america whether it is the relentless filibuster of the
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nominees that prevents the board from having the quorum or ceaseless litigation the delays and denies justice they have consequences for real people. the litigation surrounding president obama's recess appointments has impacted countless working americans, real people, people like marcus a former printing press from lake villa illinois. markets work for the printing company for nine years serving as the union steward for most of his time. in 2010 when the company was about to be sold, the owners cracked down hard on markets for his role on the collective bargaining negotiations. he was fired. a unanimous bipartisan panel determined in september of 2012 that marcus was unlawfully fired and ordered that he would be reinstated with back pay. but the company appealed the decision to the u.s. court of appeals in the d.c. circuit and
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in january that case was delayed due to the recess appointment litigation leaving him without any recourse. almost three years since the claim was filed in the board, marcus is still looking for justice. he doesn't have his job back and the only job he can find pays one-third as much as the previous one. because of his financial hardship, marcus lost his home to foreclosure. real-life consequences. this wasn't just any helmet was his dream home that he and his family had saved for for their entire lives. was his slice of the american dream that was lost to no fault of his own because the system is broken and could not protect his rights. let's be clear about why he was fired. he was fired for participating in collective bargaining a process that the nation's law protect and encourages. i've often quoted from the national labor relations act on
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this point and i will do so again. the act states and i quote this is phil lahoud declared to be the policy of the united states to eliminate the cause of certain substantial obstructions to the free flow of commerce and to mitigate and eliminate the obstruction's when they have occurred by encouraging the practice and procedure of the collective bargaining. and by protecting the exercise by workers a full freedom of association, self organization in the designation of the representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment or other mutually or protection. so the national labor relations act doesn't just set up the parameters. they actually say encourage, to encourage the practice and procedure of collective bargaining. so i'm proud to be a citizen of
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the country that encourages collective bargaining. and if my colleagues don't share this view then they should be honest about their intentions and repeal the national labor relations act. i think that would be much more appropriate than constantly using procedural threats or political obstructionism and budget game playing to do the job that is required by law to do. three people sitting before us today have been fulfilling the duties that they have been sworn to carry out as members of the board. despite constant political interference and even personal attacks. the other nominees before us have commended and accepted the president's call to serve and are eager to join the board, even in these tumultuous times. these are five incredibly well qualified candidates for the national labor relations board. they come from diverse backgrounds but they are all deeply steeped in labor or
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employment all and they would bring a rich experiences to the board. it cannot be disputed that this is a highly skilled, competent and experienced panel of labor or employment law experts the deserve to be confirmed and they should be confirmed. the letter i recently received from the management side and 15 union side labor attorneys from across the country made in this point better than i can and urged the confirmation of the full package of the five nominees and said, quote while we differ in our views over the decisions and actions, we do agree that the interests are best served by the stability and the certainty that a full come from the board will bring to the field of labour management relations to the i could not agree more. i was heartened to hear that my good friend and a ranking member, senator alexander state on the floor of the senate a few months ago that he wants to confirm if a package of board nominees. i would like to work again with
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senator alexander to get the job done so that we have a five member board. so i hope that we can put a lot of this stuff behind us and have a good hearing and ask for questions and get things on the record and confirm a full package of five eminent for qualified individuals to be members of the national labor relations board and with that i recognize senator alexander. >> thank you mr. chairman pete v. i look forward to this hearing with the nominees and i thank them for their willingness to serve. it is important to have a fully confirmed national labor relations board. this agency is charged as the chairman said creating stokely for employees, employers and unions to allow america's business to focus on succeeding and growing. but there is a troubling lack of respect to the constitutional separation of powers, and for the senate's role of advice and consent that is standing in the way of this confirmation process. the constitution lays out a
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balance of power that has worked pretty well in the pretty much as the founders intended for to enter the 27 years. article 1 of the constitution made us different from most government at that time. most of our founders, not all of them but most of them did not want the king and to ensure that we didn't have the king, our country had a congress and the clear powers were granted to the congress which could not be abrogated. the curbs on the power of the mark or the power of an executive in our constitutional article 1 of the constitution creating in the congress and the bill of rights. article number two enumerates the executive powers of the presidency, and it recognized a very practical reality of the day's long congressional recesses. the power reserved for the senate is the best known authority of this body.
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that is article 2, section 2 requiring the senate to consent to the appointment of the ambassador's public ministers councils and other officers. we do that for about a thousand of the president's nominees and in each of the last congress is we have worked in a bipartisan way to make it easier for the president to make the nominations for the senate to consider them in a reasonable period of time. the founders anticipated there would be periods when the senate and the house would not be in session and the senate wouldn't be able to consent to such appointments, so they put into the constitution the provision to say that during these times the president could make a recess appointment for, quote, vacancies that may happen during a recess of the senate. if at the beginning of the nation this was important and in those days there were long extended periods of time between the annual sessions of congress. members of congress was brought all of the country. senator sam houston texas had to go from tex to new orleans and come up the mississippi river,
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take the stagecoach, finally get here and take the same route home so it was envisioned that during the times the senators were gone, the president could make recess appointments. some may wonder why we still have a recess appointment with modern communications and modern travel but it's still in the constitution. president obama on january 4th, 2012 acted as though it wasn't there at all. the president made a recess appointments while the senate was not in recess. this was unprecedented. it had never been done. it was done during the time the senate majority leader harry reid had proposed a resolution the senate unanimously adopted that said that the senate was in session and that it would convene every three days. over time the presidents have offered, many have expanded their use of the recess appointment power, yet no one has gone as far as president obama on that day. the senate must decide when we
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are in session, not the president. if it were otherwise there would be no point to having advice and consent power in the constitution at all. the president could appoint officials any time he wishes. the senate could return from lunch and find that there is a new supreme court justice. on january 4th, the president made three appointments to the national labor relations board and two of them are still there. they have told me, i've met with them in the meetings that they felt obligated to stay in their positions, those members. i've got my papers next appear. >> pardon me mr. chairman. i lost page five and six. i will speak for them. after president obama took this action, the so-called recess appointees began deciding cases and one of those cases was appealed to the supreme court. the company appealed because it
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argued that the company didn't have the required quorum of the three vow that constitutionally appointed members, the three judge panel in the district court or of the court of appeals agreed. unanimously said that these recess appointments violated article 2, section 2 of the constitution and the president had made a recess appointments when there was no recess and that holds a special place in american judicial system because all nlrb decisions may be appealed there and many of them are. there for all of the cases in which the nominees have put speed door will participate may also be vacated if the vote is provided the board with a necessary quorum. since the so-called recess appointees were sworn in, the nlrb has issued 910 published and unpublished decisions, to under six of those came after the case which is the case in subject. all of these can be appealed in the d.c. circuit and vacated. i have met with each of the nominees before us today.
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i do not question their qualifications. they all have a distinguished background. i know that mr. griffin feels obligated to stay in those positions after the preeminent court ruled the work appointed because of the oath that they made. i appreciate your candor and dedication to public service. my problem is not with their qualifications. my problem is they continue to decide cases after the federal court unanimously decided they were unconstitutionally appointed. one only has the president showed a lack of respect for the constitutional role of the separation of powers if the curve on the executive branch article 1 provides but i believe that these two individuals have as well. this is part of a disturbing pattern to of in runs around the congress whether it is more than the romans had or executive orders that stretched the lead of executive authority or using rd or ther authority to create a secretary of health raising
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money privately for private organizations to do with the congress has refused to do or whether it is the recess appointments when there is no recess. it is important for our country's liberties to protect the separation of powers, therefore i cannot support the nominations of these two. i also believe their decision to stay on creates enormous opportunity for confusion and waste. i agree that we want certainty. the best way to have certainty is to have the five confirmed members of the board. the president could nominee to the equally qualified members who did not sit on the nlrb when the court had decided that they were unconstitutionally there. i don't have the same problem with the other nominees that are here today, the chairman and harry johnson. they've been nominated in the regular process and the best way for te well
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qualified individuals who did not continue to decide the cases after the courts said they were unconstitutionally appointed. i will pledge to work with the chairman for their speedy confirmation. thank you mr. chairman. >> thanks, senator alexander. >> thank you. >> austal come i recognize the senator for the purpose of an introduction. >> thank you. i am pleased to introduce the distinguished nominee even if he's currently a partner in the labor employment group of morgan lewis in chicago where he has been since 2005. he has been a senior fellow at the school of business and he received his b.a. from the pennsylvania law school. i met with him as i have the other nominees and i find him to be knowledgeable about our system. he has written entire books about the nlrb and i glad to present him to the committee.
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>> thank you come senator alexander. i would recognize senator murphy for the purpose of an introduction. >> thank you very much ranking member alexander for letting me introduce a dedicated public servant and a very capable member of the national labor relations board. sharing is a current board member who's dedicated her life to public service. she has served with integrity as a board member since january of 2012 and previously served as the deputy assistant secretary for the congressional affairs and the department of labour and is the senior labor employment council for this committee where she worked for senator kennedy. she has also served as a senior attorney to the chairman of the national labor relations board from 1994 to 96 she was the assistant general counsel of the endowment for the humanities. after receiving her degree from georgetown university law center where she won the john f. kennedy labor all award. she grew up in westport connecticut and her parents, who
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i believe are here today still reside in wilton connecticut. we are very proud of the work that she has done with america's workers and businesses to make sure she can continue this important work as a board member. thank you mr. chairman for allowing me to introduce her before the committee today. >> thank you, senator. malae will recognize the center for the purpose of an introduction. >> thank you mr. chairman. it's my pleasure to introduce richard griffin jr. who has served since january 2012. richard is a law school graduate of northeastern university in boston, and for 28 years he has worked for the international union of operating engineers. 17 of those years he has spent as their general counsel. the operating engineers have a special place in my heart. my big brother operated a big claim and was a member of this union. i have had a chance to meet many
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of their members. they are honest people, hard workers that have literally helped build our country. as counsel mr. griffin has helped clean up the union and has served as a trustee for the central pension fund to ensure the retirement security of over 100,000 participants including my brother. thank you. he's also had extensive experience working as the council. he served as democratic board member and president reagan republican chairman bob send. we are pleased to have you here today with us and to share your testimony, and we are very pleased to welcome your wife and your daughter who i understand are also with you. thank you very much for being here. massachusetts is proud of you and we look forward to your testimony today and your service on the nlrb putative
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>> i would like to call to the table or former colleague and good friend, senator dorgan and former senator of north dakota for the purposes of an introduction. senator welcome back to the senate. >> mr. shimkus thank you very much. members it is nice to be here and to see all of you. i will be brief. i know you have five nominees and you've already had a hearing earlier this morning. i was just thinking as i was sitting here that with all of the difficulty as the nominations committee is still an enormously hopeful sign that when the country calls, people come to the tables and say i will serve and that is the case again this morning. i am here to introduce a friend and a colleague harry johnson someone who has a distinguished career. he is a native of virginia. he is a friend, he is a harvard graduate, a very distinguished career in law in california working for eric fox and i've
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had the opportunity to work with him and i know him well and i commend him. he is smart, honest, experienced. i am convinced that he will make a positive contribution to this board, and it seems to me that when you put someone that is serious and thoughtful on the board like this at this time and it will certainly help and not hurt. if i might make one additional comment on the country is blessed that overtime and the question is asked who will lead, there are always people that stand up in this country and say i will leave and the answer that call and harry johnson is one of them come and they as you know and their families often pack up putting their children and the longings and moving have we and that is thetry to serve place to the casa de. he is an awfully good choice and
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proud of the president has asked him to serve and proud that he's volunteered to serve and hope that he will have a very strong support among the committee members this morning. mr. chairman, thank you. >> thank you very much for being here and for that introduction and of course you're always welcome to appear before this committee on this or anything else. thank you very much for being here. senator schumer was granted a year for the purpose of introduction but i think that he is tied up in the immigration hearing on the judiciary. so, i will take mr. schumer's place to introduce him. mark is currently the chairman of the national labor relations board and has served as a member since march of 2010. formerly a founding partner at johnson and perot chairman pierce has been the practice of
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labour employment law for more than three decades. he worked as a field attorney and district trial specialist in the national labor relations board. senator schumer -- [laughter] welcome. >> senator schumer i didn't know if you were going to get out of that markup or not. [laughter] it is much more pleasant to be here. thank you. i didn't know if you could break away. i started to introduce mr. pierce but i will yield to you for the purpose of introduction. >> thank you ranking member alexander and all of my colleagues here today. i know that you are pressed for time so i will try to be brief. i am so pleased to be a will to introduce an esteemed attorney and a native of brooklyn new york who made his home at the other end of the great state in
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the wonderful place called buffalo new york and that is marked appears to this committee. for some of you this is a reintroduction. president obama appointed mark to serve on the board and was confirmed by the full senate for the term ending on august 27, 2013 after a year as the member of the board he was sworn in as the chairman, and today i would ask the committee to approve his nomination so that he can continue his important work and the board can be productive under his continued leadership. his intellect and experience and dedication mcginn not only outstanding public servant but also a tireless advocate for the issues he cares so much about. the unquestionable need for fair labor practices and fair representation for union workers. before coming to washington, he was a founding member of the buffalo new york law firm. he practiced labor and employment law before the state
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and federal courts and agencies. he served by appointment of the governor on the new york state industrial board of appeals and throughout his career he's represented individuals as well as public and private sector labor unions in all matters involving the employment and labor relations including civil service, employment discrimination, collective bargaining contract compliance arbitration and law prosecution. he's not just serve on the board in the courtroom, but he's been committed to helping the next generation by working in the classroom, he taught at cornell university school of industrial labor relations committee is a fellow in the college of labor and employment lawyers, so his son questionable dedication experience and intelligence make an extremely qualified to serve and i recommend his nomination without reservation and i urge his confirmation. thank you. >> thank you very much for being here and for appearing before this committee. godspeed on immigration reform.
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thank you very much senator schumer. now i would call to the witness table our nominee is. it would be from left to right, chairman pierce, mr. griffin, mr. johnson. >> at least that is how i was told to do it any way. >> we welcome you all here to the committee. again i think each and every one of you for your -- as a lot of them have said for your willingness to serve on this very important and independent board. we will start first and ask you to some of the restatement.
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they will be made a part of the record and i would ask if you would sum up with five minutes or less so that we can then get into our question and answer period. we'll start with our distinguished chairman and welcome back to the committee. please proceed as you so desire. >> thank you chairman, senator alexander and members of the committee. it is a great honor to appear before you today as well as to be considered for another term as the member of the national labor relations board. i am joined here by my wife, my daughter couldn't make it. i was brought in as the senator schumer said in brooklyn one of five children. my parents, jimmy denney and cubin came from the united states with the idea that all honest hard work as one can accomplish almost anything in this great country. my mother was a factory worker and my father worked as a
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laborer and a handyman. they saved, brought to the kobach real-estate to start a small businesses and they turned their hopes into realities. although possessed of little formal schooling, my parents instilled in their children a sense of the importance of education. they live to see me become a practicing attorney and my mother probably saw me confirm as members of the national labor relations board. i graduated from the high school in brooklyn, cornell university, and several of my colleagues working on electrical construction as a college albert they reminded me that during two of the summer's i had the amazing experience of working on the original twin towers. a monument to american labor and ingenuity that will not be forgotten. i received my degree from the
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state university of new york at buffalo and was in buffalo that great working-class city where i fell in love with my wife and with labor law in that order. as a law student, i was assigned to the regional losses through the schools work study program. this exposure was transforming. i saw that through the enforcement of the act, significant issues affecting workers, employers and unions were being addressed and industrial peace was being obtained. i knew immediately that this was what i wanted to do and this became the focus of my studies and subsequent employment. i worked 15 wonderful years in buffalo at the regional offices of the field attorney and district trial specialists and forcing the nation's primary thd states.
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i even charlie left to go into private practice. they specialized in labor and employment law. also represented clients for the state and federal courts agencies. i taught courses at cornell and i serve as a certified mediator for the united states district court of the western district of new york. mediation training became a valuable tool in my efforts to the board to seek common ground where there are diverging views. in 2010i had the honor and privilege to be nominated, appointed and confirmed as a member of the national labor relations board. the very agency in which i started my career. the following year i had the honor and the privilege, that honor and privilege was even further heightened by being
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named the chairman of the board. as the chairman, i gained an even deeper appreciation for the work of the agency and it's important to the employees, employers and unions. in the last fiscal year alone over 20,000 of the practices were filed with the agencies by the members of the public. as a result of the board enforcement of the act, more than 1200 workers were offered reinstatement and over $44 million were recovered by employees and back pay and reimbursement of the dues or fines. during the same period the process was close to 2500 petitions and conducted more than 1600 representation elections. for a small agency the board has touched the lives of many americans. for almost two years, i've represented the agency has one of the leaders and principal
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spokespersons. i have embraced the responsibility of the chairman, and i am grateful for the opportunity to serve in this matter. if it pleases the seine at it would be my privilege to continue to serve on the board. thank you for this opportunity to offer these remarks and i welcome your questions. >> the timing is perfect. five minutes exactly. welcome and please proceed. >> thank you. >> chairman, senator alexander and members of the committee, i am honored to appear before you today as a nominee for the national labor relations board. when i started as a nlrb staff lawyer in 1981, i didn't hope that such an opportunity. the pinnacle of any livres carrier would be possible for me. i am humbled by the opportunity to serve and a greatly appreciate the confidence that president obama expressed by nominating me. i am joined by my wife, my
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daughter and my son charlie. it is impossible for me to express the full extent of my appreciation for my family's love and support. i also want to credit my parents, richard griffin senior and james griffin. they set the example which i have tried to emulate accepting the a simple in their life which i tried to emulate throughout my and. the work ethic they are both 80-years-old and working more than full-time by father is a lawyer, my mother is a research scientist is a standard i can only aspire to. interactive engagement in the new professionals activities in my hometown of buffalo new york has been an inspiration. i was educated in catholic schools of buffalo at the university and at northeastern university school of law. through the craughwell program i worked for the united auto workers in detroit and for a small law firm in chicago th experiences confirmed my desire to practice labor law.
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the field offered an opportunity for bridging differences, solving problems and making people's lives better. it suited my interest and it engaged my abilities. after law school i went to work on the staff of the board member appointed by president eisenhower in 1957, he was a legend that serve 25 years as a board member. he truly believed in the national labor relations policy stated in section 1 of the act to encourage collective bargaining and protect the exercise of work by workers a full freedom of association self organization and the designation of the representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment or for other mutual aid protection. a great respect for these principles was ingrained in me by the final years that work. i.t. quote new from them to work for the new board chairman donald blogs and when his term was up and the staff was
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reassigned. it would be hard pressed to not find any board members that were further apart on the ideological spectrum than mr. fanning yet i worked successfully for both of them and in fact received the exact same evaluation from both. in 1983i went to work in the legal department and the international reading engineers and i stayed there for the next 28 years. i get fais to the officers and the staff for organizing representation issues, pension and health care issues and internal governance requirements. i also served for nine years as a union trustee on the operating central pension-fund a very large fund where i worked closely with the management trustees to ensure the retirement security of the funds more than 100,000 participants. my 17 years of the operating engineers i was the union's general counsel and during that time i represented an organization in terms of assets, employees and reseats was the
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equivalent of a mid-sized business enterprise. i dealt with of the legal issues that the lawyer for any such enterprise would face from property tax appeals complying with the financial accounting standard board pronouncements -- pronunciations putative the union have responsibilities as an employer to comply with all of the governing employers as well as to several unions that represented the organization's employees. these experiences as a staff and a union lawyer and the general counsel of a mid-sized enterprises give a useful and i believe fairly unique perspective on the case is coming before the board. since i visas appointment i tried to bring that perspective to bear working with wonderful colleagues. the chairman and both of whom bring their own broad range of labor law experiences as well as deep knowledge of the act to our deliberations. i have done so guided by the talented diverse and experienced career staff.
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there are no finer lawyers in the government service than those working for the board and i hope to do so in the future with two new cable colleagues. if confirmed, pledged to work in partially into the best of my ability with my colleagues and the career staff to strike the appropriate balance between employee rights and management interests that is the board's central task. thank you very much for your consideration of my nomination and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you again mr. griffin. you are right on five minutes. i appreciate that. i remember not long ago you used to sit right here. welcome back. >> thank you, chairman. senator alexander. thank you senator harkin, senator alexander and members of the committee i am so honored to appear before you as a nominee for the national labor relations board. i assure you that i fully appreciate the seriousness of
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your task in assessing my fitness for the position for which the president has nominated me. ..
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and i learned from participating in its negotiations many important lessons from the value of considered perspectives of all stakeholders, the necessity of finding practical solutions that do more than just sound good on paper and the virtue of principled compromise. no senator about the negotiations got everything he or she wanted in the resulting legislation, but three or hardware work, open dialogue and willingness to compromise, you achieved a great help is needed to transfer workers and employers cannot try to apply these lessons to my work as a board member. buy services that longtime career attorney pat the nhtsa has also prepared me well. i think for the most talented and dedicated government attorneys how to represent the public interes while this fortunate to represent the board in high-profile cases during my
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earlier tenure, what made the biggest impact on me with the smaller cases. the cases are the parties have no interest in making ma or engage in ideological debate. instead, they are the cases where the board has a neutral adjudicator brings resolution the parties who just want to have voices heard and their views really considered. these are the cases that dominate the boards docket today has in the past. the overall majority of cases i've participated in serving as democrats and republicans have been unanimous decisions that apply long-standing precedent. the important the cases cannot be overstated. it is through these cases the boards mission of preserving industrial peace. they bring resolution after being a monthly discharge and a further right of an employer to move forward in running his or her business to the fact showed
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a genuine impasse in negotiations success in the collective bargaining process will and can continue. there is no private right of action under the act, so employees, employers and unions are dependent on the board to ensure the system for resolving disputes that congress created still work. it's incumbent on us to the above cases as efficiently and fairly as possible. in my experience on the board with democrats and republicans, we do so in the spirit of respect or collegiality. o. attorneys on my staff have both management and labor experience. when i service in her counsel robert battista, i appreciated that case discussions he not only allowed that encourage and i continued that with my staff. they know is a former career attorney i will never underestimate the value of their contribution. i would like to add the
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nominated and serving as the greatest honor of my professional life. i've been a public service almost all of my career in the longest span of my service has been as a career civil servant with the board. when i first came to the board during the tenure i served in that role i'd never chaired by the a board member. when the president asked me to serve, i was surprised, humbled and odd. this means so much me because i lit the mission of the board means so much to the tradition of fairness and dignity in the american workplace unlawfully confirm board is the best way to honor and support the important tradition. in closing, i would like to thank two people here have been so important to me. my colleague, mark pearce and richard griffin. i'm grateful for the experience of serving with them. i'd like to thank my family here
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with me, my husband, children, charlotte eli, my parents and uncle michael fears her other their love and support. thank you for the opportunity to offer these opening remarks and i welcome your questions. >> thank you, this blog. we welcome you and all the members of your family. mr. johnson, welcome again and please proceed if they so desire. s-sierra chairman harkin, ranking member alexander and other members of this committee, thank you for your been able to meet with you previously near staff. senator dorgan for his gracious introduction. i think you can present a bottle for the great honor of this nomination and things finally to the folks sitting with matt this table, the three democratic nominees and other republican nominee for their own personal courtesy as wehrough this
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together. i appreciate the brief footage of introducing you to people you're with me today as well from a family. my wife, monica a few rows back has had an impressive career herself after graduating from harvard law school she served as a lawyer and mediator and create a home for a family. i couldn't do before you here today at this proceeding without her support. i take to introduce you to her 10-year-old daughter, sophia and 8-year-old daughter, talia a few rows behind me again. both impressive statements, hard-working athletes and most importantly to us, young people with kind and generous hearts. they trenchers to my parents, catherine johnson junior retired in world war ii from a search on the uss wisconsin as an electrician and a physician and a loser for a total of 43 years
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of service to my mother, joann johnson, lieutenant commander retired who served in the navy nurse corps for 21 years. finally, my brother, dr. scott johnson came down here from boston today i have some friends from my hometown and i thank them. to the matter at hand, this is the second half of the most important job interview it's in a crucial part of the process currently in private parent is found in the district in 1942 because sanders having all come from distinguished careers in government service. to practice since i graduated from harvard school in 1994 has been an employment law, mostly
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representing companies from the very large to do very small. that is included a good deal of traditional labor law, including proceedings of unfair labor practice cases and representation for the national labor relations board. in the end, what i just told you is a list of relevant qualifications and achievements bear for nomination to the board believes are important. imitate what i believe on the national labor relations act. the board is one of the oldest speculations these advanced to the harder dedicated career stats there's an incredibly important multifaceted role in our country and free enterprise system. i believe in free enterprise, but we cannot have a free enterprise system that had a system of labor law, just like we cannot free enterprise system at the properties up or contract law. it should never pick winners and losers based on ideology rather
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than the law. in my mind that more should always remember that if good faith comers cannot operate because of the regulatory environment that suffocates their ability to create economic success there will not be jobs, employees and ultimately there cannot be a viable labor unions and i think we would all be sad that such a result. we cannot choose the times in which we live and i did not choose the time back in july of last year when someone would call and ask me to serve my country in this capacity. if i could have chosen i would've preferred my potential service on the board to come at a time when agency was not enmeshed in profound constitutional and political disagreement. but here we are and here i am because i said yes. if confirmed, i translate that into working as hard as they could with a functioning board fairly adjudicating important issues that come before us.
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to paraphrase winston churchill, i can only give the american people and my blood, toil, tears and sweat. and nearly two decades of experience. if confirmed i will give you the full measure of my effort in serving as guardian of the act in all it represents. thank you and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very much, mr. johnson. now, please proceed. >> chairman harkin, ranking member alexander and other committee members, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. senator alexander, thank you for introduction. my wife marylin and present denver, joseph and eric are here today, also seated behind me and i'm grateful to have their support. if confirmed hoping they can do sacrifice the interests of public service similar to those by you of their members.
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i appreciate present up on this nomination. there's no higher honor than being considered for the relations board pictures of writes important to nearly everyone, affect them but they're in how people can work on the support families businesses with a big impact on communities and state and local governments. for me these have never been abstract concepts that are fervent in spirit. my brother spent a summer working in a steel mill. i began work at age 14 as a caddie. i worked in a movie theater and got a job at the carnegie library of pittsburgh. for many years i were as local 6471 of the american federation of musicians. i learned firsthand about keeping an open mind regarding labor management issues. at one point my mother is a member of the pittsburgh public school board. my older sister pat, while
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living at home as a pittsburgh public school teacher who participated in a fit of seven-day strike that cut 62,000 students from going to school and the students include my younger sister, julie was high school graduation is jeopardized by the dispute. some teachers regularly came to my house they put signs out the same and came inside where my mother invariably made them breakfast or serving coffee in the kitchen. everybody was treated with respect and nobody was forced to repay them in their very different strongly held opinions. i have applied these same principles while representing employers in dealing with unions and employees for 30 years. an advanced client interest by
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focusing on sensitive issues and working to foster constructive relationships with opposing counsel and unions. i've lived in the chicago area most of my career since 2005 with mark and melissa baucus. i've had the good fortune of being affiliated over three decades of the center for human resource at the university of pennsylvania in philadelphia. if confirmed, three things that got my service on the board. first, great respect for the years of work by congress and by this committee which produced the national labor relations act, including the amendments have confirmed their member labor law policy originates the congress, not in yours and the nlrb. board members come and go, but if confirmed i'll do everything i can to recognize supports many career professionals and staff members who do much of the hardware can contribute so much in public service. finally, labor lawyers operate
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was difficult to find common ground. increased value to parties and board members cannot sharp disagreements have strongly held views. former chairman john fanning stated the one factor every nlrb case has in common is the presence of at least two people who see things completely different. i respect everyone who has served are assigned to serve on the board regarding some policy issues, my fellow nominees and i may not always agree hurt if confirmed i'll approach your decision with an open mind and share opinions in a constructive way. i'll forge agreements of fellow board members of the opening two differing views. i'll do my best to discharge responsibility on every nlrb member to apply the law as written with what congress intended. they must carefully evaluate every nominee that includes myself. it's a privilege to be here. i look forward to the questions. thank you.
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>> thank you, mr. miscimarra. i welcome you and your family members who are here also. from listening to you in reading your testimony despair every single one of you is eminently qualified for this position. no doubt in my mind. we'll start a series of five-minute questions. my first question is mr. pearce. it's come under increasing attack the last several years. most recently concerns have been raised about legitimacy in the national labor relations board's continued operation following the d.c. circuit court decision in the know can in case. of the d.c. circuit itself acknowledged his decision was in conflict with three other circuit courts of appeals and despite the fact the case has been appealed to the supreme court, some of my colleagues
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have or should be shut down the make of that decision. jeremy pearce, whitey so the board can continue to operate after the decision was issued? >> thank you, chairman. in addition to the points you have made, there is also the fact that historically the nlrb has functioned in the wake of constitutional challenges. we were born of controversy. in 1835 through 1937, legitimacy was challenged in the corner. we can continue to function when the supreme court finally decides it's an issue, we still managed to serve the public. most importantly, what we are to the public to work. every day the board provides a forum for workers, employees, employees and unions to come
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forward into air their shoes. this forum ensures economic security is povided and protected from industrial es there is no primary to action several times. the nlrb is the only forum, the only recourse a lot of people have had. the statute of limitations for unfair labor practices. obligations under the labor relations act or not to spend it while litigation goes on over the issue of whether or not the boy's composition is correct and such issues hold no confidence for a person who has lost their job because they wanted to join a union and they're about to lose their home.
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it does not hold any consequences for an employee or worker who's been discriminated against by a union because they are not a member of the union. >> before my time and thought, i trust mr. prefeminist block. some have suggested and requested and re-signed premier positions. i often thought since on appeal i've often thought that was alice in wonderland. i wonder if you have any comment on why you feel you can continue to function in light of the milk in a case. puncher button. >> chairman harkin come you've indicated the conflict the d.c. circuit expressed with the other circuits in a sound decision
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with respect to the issue of intercession versus intercession appointments in the arising during the recess questions. so there is a conflict under our system. the supreme court decides the conflict and assess the supreme court to resolve the matter. i was appointed and asked to serve. it took an oath to serve and under the circumstances since the supreme court did not render a final decision the constitutional question and for all the reasons the chairman indicated in terms of the important work we do, i felt it was important to continue to do the important work of the board i took an oath to do. >> ms. block, do you have anything to add why he would continue to serve rather than resign? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the opportunity to address them and i agree with
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everything my colleagues have said. the public that we serve en masse to give them a fair hearing embry resolution. thinking how i could best uphold my oath that i took to do that and protect the institution of the board of my colleagues have said i thought was incumbent upon me to continue to provide that service while these issues were worked out in the litigation. i could share with you what my thought process was. some of the people who brought their cases to us during the year. we know what these issues have been percolating, employers continue to consent to elections. parties continue to settle cases with us. parties have also not filed petitions for review when we've issued decisions. when i thought about some of
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those cases, i thought about discriminate c. in a case that the employer we found in a bipartisan unanimous decision of the board, member hayes, member questioning myself. they came to the bargaining table, didn't want to come to an agreement had started unlawfully imposing unilateral actions on the employees throughout seniority and as a result of this unlawful action, there was a 73-year-old employee who worked for 42 years and was a result of these unlawful actions was forced to change his shot from being a truck driver on the surface of the mind to working 11 hour shifts underground. he came to us because he wanted a fair hearing and resolution. what i thought about him and people like him who rely on the board in light of circumstances, the ongoing litigation, i felt
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the best way i could fulfill the oath i made what i took this job was to continue to function. >> thank you is very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this morning, the third circuit court of appeals made a decision, including the nlrb piano lack the requisite number of members to exercise the board's authority because one panel member was infallibly appointed during break. another circuit agrees that the d.c. circuit consistent with the decision of the d.c. circuit during recesses. where the situation for the president just ignores article article i, but the principal curve upon the power of the
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executive. i would observe also that while i also agree it is better to have a quorum, it's better to have five members. said in earlier remarks had higher qualifications of all five individuals here. my problem is is continuing to serve after such an accident and lack of respect for the prerogatives of congress and the separation of powers. in the meantime, if there weren't a quorum of the nlrb can investigate practices and prosecute internet elections. administrative law judges could adjudicate. a number of activities the nlrb could continue to take what matters are resolved and you have to balance a confusion cost them hundreds of cases are vacated her subject to being vacated when it is decided the board decides so many cases without a quorum.
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the chairman noted the strong passions but sometimes people on the republican side was to try and tumor -- is progress if they were concession. their strong passions on me at their. i would have supported a record article mmvii talks about the union leaders discontent with the labor board, said editors demonstrated in front of the headquarters chanting shut it down for renovations. they're happy the board did nothing for the democrat was in the white house and senator reid, majority leader of the times of the senate is considering homemade pro forma sessions to prevent president fish from naming mr. batista -- senator reid that i am president bush was at the defendant's decision about whether it was in
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session at what point was not. mr. pearce, i've a question for you if i may about the excelsior list. during an organizing campaign, the currently requires union organizers of the list of employee names and this is called an excelsior list. you had a regulatory effort to include telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, java applications. i think a lot of employees with one on the personal information shared without their consent and wouldn't want to be harassed about whether or not to join a union. will you continue to pursue this product engine of information that employee names and addresses -- that started with only names and addresses? was not well adapted at a time
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when i weren't so many other pieces of personal information. name and address as one piece, but now you're asking e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, to job justifications. we continue to insist on not and if you were, why would you allow employees at least to opt-out of providing that kind of an old information? >> thank you, senator. currently the voice regulation asks for the excelsior list was pursuant to a decision that is decades old. >> before the internet invaded her privacy. >> of course, of course. for all creatures are but terms of technology. the national labor relations board evolves with the technology.
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otherwise they couldn't effectively enforce the act. in so doing it is appropriate responsible for us to look at the advances that are typical in the communication between workers and between employers. >> your java list of employees e-mail addresses to keep output modern technology? >> what i'm saying senator -- >> yes or no. >> i can answer that. what i'm saying is all that had to be evaluated and taken into consideration. there's a proposal that's that's on a road that is under consideration by the board as to what would be appropriate in this day and age for fair and equal contact of employees.
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there are cases we have decided with respect to to unfair and unreasonable harassed them. if those circumstances,, those things would he address. right now, the excelsior underwear is the regulation. how we've evolved and that remains the consideration of the board. >> thank you for your answer. i hope the board of think of privacy as host technology. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator murray, snyder isakson and senator casey, sanders scott and senator baldwin and senator warren. senator murray. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is not a routine hearing by any stretch of the imagination. this is very much about the si fute of our country. it's about whether we believe
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the laws of our country to protect workers and employers alike should be enforced. it's about the future opportunities we have to have good jobs in our economy, protect or shrinking middle class and provide opportunities to prove conditions and smooth relations between workers and employers to make sure we have efficient operation of our economy. a person claim this is a better hearing. the nlrb in hearings protect all private sector workers regardless of whether they are in a union for exercising their rights of those rates have led to many significant improvements across our economy. higher pay and better benefits, safer working conditions, fewer injuries and death and the strongest economy in the world. it is no shock collective bargaining in the unionization rate and wages and economy has
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struggled many of these problems arose around the time a prolonged attack on the nlrb commenced. for over 30 years now, the normal process of nominating word members has been nonexistent. they have now largely prevented from operating on a routine basis and has made enforcement very difficult. for 35 years, recess appointments have become all too retained and nearly 30 years the senate has been forced to regularly consider package of the nominees to get any nominees on the board. this is now a two-run agency and i suspect that's why we are where we are now. many people just don't want the nlrb to function at all, but i worry about what this says about our values and what will happen to our economy and society if we
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allow that to happen. for workers rights are good, one fewer check on raising income equality and individuals are increasingly left on around in an economy very different to those that protections. that's why blue is important, mr. chairman, we have quickly, approve the package not because i agree with each and every one individually. i have concerns about some of the individuals, but i don't deny they are a qualified and experienced and can and should serve and i think each one of you for your willingness to do this. i hope we can move quickly to this than i would just ask a series of questions if you can respond yes or no. first of all, do you agree the senate should consider your nomination as a package? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> the political and constitutional questions are above and beyond my purview.
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i can only represent myself. if i was a senator, i would confirm me. [laughter] >> i wouldn't presume to advise the senate with respect to how they should address these nominations. i will say the fellow nominees have been very gracious in my dealings with them. i would be one to serve on the board with any nominees to the senate would choose to confirm. that goes for me as well. >> they'll ask you directly. to each of the nominees at the table this morning is highly qualified to serve and deserves to be considered as part of the package? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> i've no doubt. >> i agree. >> is confirmed corollas to be pledged to meet the standards of integrity, professionalism and objectivity? >> certainly.
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>> yes. >> absolutely. >> of course. >> yes. >> if confirmed, do you agree her job is to apply existing law and congressional intent and recognize polish of you brings different experience and backgrounbackgroun ds not allow personal biases to interfere with impartial application of the law? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> of course. >> yes. >> that says specifically to the committee that this is a group highly qualified that we should move forward as the package to confirm. i would add one thing and that is they spoke a minute ago about the growing income inequality pay equity as an important tool for an american woman to help close the income gap is. i want to submit a letter from 30 organizations concerned what women are paid and are calling for a smoothly functioning nlrb
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and why we need to move these nominees quickly and confirm them. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator isakson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome to all the nominees. chairman pearce, thank you for your service. a question for you to begin with as i can. under her leadership or term as chairman, why did the nlrb undo decades of precedent in the specialty health care decision? >> specialty health care with a decision involving certified nursing assist ends. these were 53 certified nursing assistants that wanted to unionize to perform their own bargaining unit without having people in the cafeteria for people in other areas of the facility that had nothing to do with their jobs be included in
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the unit. but we did do was apply traditional standards to assessing what an appropriate unit is. it has been a tenant of the law that we determine an appropriate union, not the most appropriate union. these people were just that. the national labor relations lord's decision was consistent with assessments of what would be an appropriate bargaining unit, where we are consistent with what the courts have considered, the d.c. circuit made the determination of the
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factors are taken into consideration are the correct ones. >> taken a term appropriate that she considered, your regional direct are following that decision ruled that the second and fifth floor shoe departments the set appropriate in the same context the specialty health care was? >> the assessment again was whether or not there were sufficient to constitute a bargaining unit. the median bargaining unit in this country is 27 employees. the bird towards goodman group was much larger than not. so if nothing else, we remain consistent with what the median has been in this country.
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>> this appropriate -- at a level is so my. is it appropriate in the sense of common sense to allow micro-unions within an establishment of multiple unions you have to do it in terms of negotiations, limitation on crosstraining for employees who serve in different departments within the same building. it seems to me taking the specialty health care decision if appropriate and applying to a retail establishment with a plethora of different departments at the net saying each one of them can organize and bargain as the unit is counterproductive to the consistency, customer service and the health of the environment in which people live and work. >> this is all fact specific. each cases assessed based on its particular facts. for example, we decided a case in home depot a route determined using that same specialty health
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care standard at a unit of the entire staff of employees was the appropriate unit. furthermore, employers have used specialty health care to assess whether or not their petition for units had been correct. one case, hard while a, which was a petition for a group of employees that carved out another set of employees. it was the employer who said his specialty health care for the proposition that there was an overwhelming community of interest between the excluded employees and those that have been included in the unit. and we agreed with them. >> thank you for your answer. let me ask you a question. thank you for your comments. he did outstanding work on that piece of legislation.
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you both are publicly nominated for your position in december before the january appointment, is that correct? >> that's correct, senator. >> the paperwork had not gotten to the committee to go through the confirmation process the january 4th, when you are pointed in a recess appointment, is that correct? >> i don't know what the status of the paperwork was, senator. we had completed the forms are responsible when we were nominated. >> i am corrected misstatements. assuming i am coming to know any reason why the president chose when he could have waited 10 more days and gone through the regular order to make a recess appointment in january 4th given the fact you have been nominated on the 11th of december? >> senator, i was not consulted by the president with respect -- but the one thing i will point to is because member backers
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support was at january 3rd, the board could not function. it was down to two board members. in order for the board to function as necessary for the president to act so there'd be a significant number to process the business. >> to know any reason why they would move ahead? >> no, i wasn't consulted about the decision. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator casey. >> , to think all the nominees for your willingness to serve, your appearance here in the commitment and sacrifice of their families. we're grateful for that. in this hearing about will be a long debate about these issues, it isn't struck been more than not, essential to recall at least two areas of our history. the bad news, the before and the good news, the after.
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before not to the national labor solutions act was enacted. fabius played out in pennsylvania in ways no other state can match unfortunately for pennsylvania. where you had for decades, for generations possum corporate power they didn't allow workers to forget having a union of basic rights it would cram people into the pavement on the rate basis. i was a history of our state. homestead in pittsburgh is one example. i grew up in northeastern pennsylvania were coal miners were -- the events are completely dominated by a company. the kind of low-wage servitude which we can't even imagine today. that was the impact meant of thl
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labor relations act. the good news is the country took a turn in the right direction after a lot of struggle and blood in people dying. chairman harkin was mentioning before the declared policy in the act itself to quote him and make the cause of certain substantial obstructions to the free flow of commerce. the free flow of commerce and to mitigate any lemonade obstruction that goes on from there. earlier in the findings, he says this, and i quote, experience has proved protection by law of the right of employees to organize and working collectively safeguards commerce, calmer spirit of feel it again. from injury impairment or interruption and promotes the flow of commerce or removing
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certain recognizers is an a industrial strife and unrest and it goes on from there. so when i talk about the act and the board that carries out the requirements, we talk about commerce. not one side being favored over the other. so it's important we remember that. we should also remember the history of some of our presidents. in the democratic and republican presidents using recess appointments for a generation at least. in fact, whether it's an intercession recess appointment or intercession, every president since reagan has recess appointed a member to the board. ronald reagan made 240 recess appointments. bill clinton made 139. george w. bush won 71 and george h.w. bush 74. so as we debate this, we should
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remember our his jury in extra retail on the direction we were at the turn of the last century. unfortunately, we've been taking a turn in that direction lately. i would also mention that what are we confronted with now? today we have a conflict about the national labour relations board. it is a political conflict, some might call an ideological conflict. the last thing we need here in washington and across the country is more rinker, more divisions, more ideology at a time when need this board fully functioning. we need five people to get confirmed here and any senator who's standing on the way of getting five people confirmed in having a functioning board certainly in light of that
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history but also in light of sea urchins be which is to have the free flow of commerce in the jobs that come from that. so we have a lot to cover and i know my time is just about over. i will submit some questions for the record, but i do want to first of all thank mr. miscimarra for your mentioning of various parts of pennsylvania, but more importantly in pittsburgh and have an education in philadelphia. 20 thank you especially for the words in your statement about common ground, being an open in having an open mind. i ask you in the context of that i know we are short on time, a specific question about the board itself.
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do you support the boards rulemaking authority? [inaudible] >> the act specifically authorizes the board to engage in certain types of rulemaking. >> give me a yes or no and of course you can go from there. >> i do and i believe any consideration of rulemaking if i work as an would depend on a couple things that would be a careful consideration of the need for the role. also the authorization and the content of any rule in the process adhered to or followed by the board for purposes of getting input and otherwise comply with requirements of the administrative procedures act. >> have more questions, but i'm way over time. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for taking the time to meet with me to see concert like this is a time in our history
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were public service is not necessarily as comfortable as he used to be. i truly appreciate your willingness to continue to serve. while we obviously have disagreements to make sure we continue to find the ability to have our economy firing all cylinders. when i think about the recent days, it seems the rule of law has been under attack. the same eap phone records, hhs and these issues have undermined confidence the american people should have in their government. what i think about the train to over the past two years committee seems to be a board about picking winners and creating losers through his decisions in the two rules. the train to should be a mutual arbitrator, an impartial and unbiased board protecting the rights of both the employers and employees.
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instead, the board has become an activist board from our perspective. several examples of such. the rule on the deck in union dues, even after the agreement has ended, it appears to me that there is a theme that suggests we are no longer looking at an impartial board, but a board that has within its intent or desire to create an outcome, forcing employers to continue to deduct union dues after bargaining agreement has expired seems to me to overturn 51 years of precedence. second issue we discussed was the case of micro unions. as few as two employees, same classification have an opportunity to form a union seems to strip away the authorities that the employers. i think specifically the northrop grumman shipbuilding were 223 technicians and
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employees for micro unions. this is troublesome from my perspective. third example is the courtesy work rules. i think that was the case for a motor company, carlos motor inc. had a courtesy role that was struck down and misplaced to me just a common sense rule as a former employee, i will tally you that this is mind-boggling from my dad and i read what the rule was. the courtesy is the responsibility of every employee. everyone is expected to be courteous, polite, friendly to our customers, vendors, suppliers as well as to fellow employees. no one should be disrespectful or use profanity for any other language doing jerry the image or reputation of the dealership.
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the board found this to be unlawful, contending employees would recently believe this prohibits statement of protest or criticism of the employer. that just boggles the mind when the commonsense courtesy role has been the practice forever in business. do employers to be as courteous as possible in a simple rule for struck down to the unlawful. the notice of posting rule that requires the display of posters, making sure employees know they could join unions for same if you're looking for a balanced approach, not picking winners or losers, you would have a poster that said you could decertify the union as well. his example would be the ambush
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with a quick election we see the average election with 38 days in the ambush elections we readily down to 10 dates. that does not provide the employer or the employee to go through the process, making a sound decision. finally, i know this is not the case that nlrb, the board itself decided on, but without question look at the opportunity to create a better economy without any question may look no further than the bowling case of the general counsel made a decision to shape shots are one state to another state. my question to you is how can we expect the board to return to being a neutral arbitrator when there are so many examples being an impartial application of the law.
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mr. pearce. >> thank you. i respectfully disagree with the premise of your question that we are not a new straw arbitrator. we have been a neutral body and i speak for my colleagues who said that this board has made its decisions with full integrity. remember, half of my career, i was a field attorney with the national labor relations board. that's what i did. i enforced the act. he listed several different areas do you have taken issue with. i have to say with respect to rules and decided this courtesy rules. rules are the province of the employer. the employer has a lot of
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control over their workplace on the board respects them. any rule however that is so fake as to infringe upon pretense to infringe upon this section seven rights other employees to engage and protect it concerted act dignity will be considered scrutinized and problematic if a reasonable employee can conclude from reading the rule that the protect act committee under the law, a law decided by congress, the protected activity under the law would be curtailed. >> thank you, mr. pearce. i want to once again read this role. to me it is interesting your
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response. courtesy is the responsibility of every employee. everyone is expected to be courteous, polite and friendly to our customers, vendors and suppliers as well as the fellow employees. no one should be disrespectful or use profanity or language than damages -- at the dealership. this i would like to consider fake and i do not see how this has to be struck down are from unlawful. thank you, sir. >> sonata baldwin. >> thank you, chairman harkin for holding this hearing on the five individuals before us. this is on the national labor relations board. i am pleased we are holding this hearing today with the nominees in attendance. as a new member of this body, i am baffled the senate s ail to confirm members to the national labor relations board
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in many, many years. the main purpose behind the nlrb is rather simple to administer the national labor relations act and certainly provide a venue to remedy unfair labor part says. yet i fear that some of my colleagues believe it is more important to ensure the nlrb is not able to function properly and that is deeply disappointing i am hoping this nomination hearings as a step in the right direction of insuring millions of private sector workers in america have a place that will provide a remedy to such unfair labor practices found to exist. i strongly support a fully functioning nlrb with five members. confirming the entire slate will ensure the nlrb is working for american workers and american employers. i hail from a state which has
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had a lot of focus recently on collective bargaining rights, particularly in the public sector. i know we are here with a focus on the private sector, but wisconsin has certainly been an area many citizens have tuned in to the important of collective bargaining. i think many people believe collective bargaining between employer and unions is just about a fight over money. my experiences collective bargaining often encompasses more than just dollars and i wonder if you can all speak to the examples of the kinds of concerns you have seen in issues around negotiations that are beyond compensation. as i said come with gotten a quick study and all those issues in the public sector in a state of wisconsin.
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you have expertise in the private sector. another side of you. some effeminate, but why don't i server two, chairman pearce to address that topic. >> i would just point out one example that apparently is very germane to the consideration of this esteemed body and that is the knoll canon case. it is determined by this board that he negotiated collective bargaining agreement that an employer refused to execute constitute a violation of the law. dallas agreed to by the d.c. circuit court. they agree our conduct, our assessment was a correct one. i'll turn this over tonight -- >> certainly there are many areas of the bargaining other
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than wages. health care benefits, pension benefits and may service prior when i worked for the operating engineers union, a major focus of negotiations was trustee training funds to train people and heavy equipment and when you are part of a hiring hall in the construction industry, the more pieces you know how to operate, the more employable ur in the more able you are to support your family. so that was the focus of negotiations because these pieces of equipment are expensive. employers want people to be adequately trained, so financing and providing training was a major portion of the collective bargaining with respect to the union i represent. >> i would add, this is one that
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i think is incredibly important, something i work at the committee of safety and health we actually recently had a case where they upheld the right if he can to bargain with the employer over access to a work based where they had in a fatal accident and needed that it is important for them to comment and see the scene of the accident in order to ensure the employees to remain in the workplace had a safe and healthful work place. we frequently see safety and health issues raised in collective bargaining completely apart from any monetary interest, but a vital employee interests. >> thank you, senator. quickly out at go safety is an important issue addressed in collective bargaining, but thanks sometimes come at the contrast i would necessarily spring to mind immediately employers and employees recently a case the board adjudicated. under what circumstances can you
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make calls from your work phone? .. as these candidates no endeavor reddi-wip here knows


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